Where We Cultivate Learning Organically
Our Kindergarten Readiness program is a special bridge between preschool and Kindergarten classes. Our teachers provide a strong academic introduction to language arts, science, mathematics, and social studies. The program also serves as a vehicle for the emergent development of our St. James' Core Beliefs and the sturdy morals and values we cherish like kindness, conﬂict-resolution, empathy, and respect. The Kindergarten Readiness classes welcome children who have completed a successful preschool experience.
Our goal is to provide students with intriguing academic experiences in the Kindergarten Readiness classes that will spark their imaginations and prepare them for a lifetime of learning. Our program is therefore limited to an intimate group of 15 students who work daily with two master teachers. These two teachers – with, at minimum, B.A. degrees in child development or a related field and experience in an early childhood education setting – guide the children's learning in their well appointed classroom. Our educational program is predicated on brain-based activities and educational research from the most trusted educational consultants and prestigious universities. The groundbreaking curriculum is based on knowledge of neuroscience and current brain research and their practical applications in the classroom.
In its full-day educational program from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., the Kindergarten Readiness classes will feature centers for mathematical and scientific discovery and structured academic explorations, as well as a wide variety of activities ensuring the acquisition of those skills and attitudes so crucial to Kindergarten success. The afternoon portion of the program will be less structured but no less educational, allowing ample time for the children to learn through guided play the art of social interaction with their peers and to indulge in shared learning experiences. They can even take a well earned nap if they need it!
Every Kindergarten Readiness activity seeks to engage both hemispheres of the child's brain and stimulate higher-order thinking. Our teachers skillfully select instructional strategies through which they can be fully present to, mindful of, and intentionally grounded with their students. The teachers actively engage with students, providing secure mutual attachment bonds and nurturing strong feelings of belonging to the group. In addition, they foster the children's ability to self-regulate by following reassuring routines and procedural practices that build patience, mutual respect, and cooperation. Moreover, at St. James' the children learn to thrive in a community of unusually diverse learners; this enables them to establish a strong and secure sense of self-identity.
Understanding and respecting children's individual styles helps teachers create a more nurturing and caring atmosphere. Our Kindergarten Readiness teachers use an inquiry-based approach through which the children engage in educational and fun-filled experiences that promote each child's uniqueness as an individual. Every teacher in the preschool knows and loves every child in the building, no matter which class. It is that quality of loving, family-like interaction between adults and children and among the students themselves that best captures the spirit of the St. James' Preschool and its Kindergarten Readiness program.