Preschool Program Overview
Our Preschool Program students learn, grow, and explore at their own pace while still developing the skills needed for a successful progression to the next stage in their education. Our program consists of both a Toddler and Preschool Class. Toddler students who turn 3 during the school year are expected to complete a full year in the class, they are only moved to the Preschool Class roster if necessary based on the ages of other toddler students. Students then complete a full school year in the Preschool Class and if they demonstrate they are developmentally ready, the following school year they will be enrolled in the Transitional Kindergarten Class, which is designed for our 4-year old students. We consider our Preschool Program the best introduction into the authentic learning and loving environment that is unique to Queen of All Saints School.
The Queen of All Saints Preschool Program provides a balanced combination of academic introduction and play-based learning to help develop the whole child: spiritual, cognitive, social, emotional, and physical. Our curriculum can be discussed in 3 aspects listed below.
Embedded Learning is a part of the curriculum that is set up to give the children the ability to naturally acquire knowledge. This is done in several ways. Singing, dancing, and storytelling are classic tools that we use to embed learning into the day. Guiding social interactions between peers and adults is another way that teachers embed learning into the day. Lastly, the physical classroom environment is embedded with opportunities to acquire knowledge. Our classroom environment gives the children:
- Literacy opportunities, with books, signs, and labels.
- Math exposure, with manipulatives, blocks, and shapes.
- Science discovery, with observation tools, sensory materials, and natural objects.
- Social emotional support, with routines, personalized spaces, and choice activities.
- Self-help skills, with select Montessori-style tools & age appropriate expectations.
- Physical development with indoor and outdoor gross motor and locomotive equipment.
- Faith Formation, with prayer throughout the day & access to religious artifacts & toys.
Emergent Projects develop as teachers observe where the children’s interests lie, then build curriculum around what will motivate the students to continue exploring those concepts. This is done through planned group discussion, real life artifacts being shared in the classroom, and daily activities planned around the project topics. Emergent Projects can last for as little as a week or carry on for over a month or more depending on how engaged the children are and what concepts they have learned. Emergent Project activities are always hands-on, child-led, and cover the spectrum of developmental domains laid out in the California Preschool Learning Foundations and Curriculum Frameworks:
- Language & Literacy
- Visual & Performing Arts
- History-Social Science
- Social & Emotional Development
- Physical Development
We also have an added Spiritual Domain that we encourage as a Catholic School. Please visit our Peek at Preschool Newsletters to learn more about our recent Emergent Project topics and activities.
Daily Focus Topics are ideas that the teachers choose to highlight in order to address particular academic points. We introduce them at community circle times in developmentally-appropriate ways that keep the children engaged, at times referring to the curriculum programs Big Day for Pre-K © by Houghton Mifflin and the Stories of God’s Love © program. We might also embed the focus topics into other activities throughout the day if the children show interest in them. The Daily Focus Topics also help parents to follow along with activities at home. The topics usually cover one math aspect, one literacy aspect, and one faith aspect. The Toddler Class usually focuses on topics pertaining to shapes, colors, and counting along with topics on the Catholic Calendar. The Preschool Class begins the year reviewing the toddler topics and as the year progresses teachers observe the children's receptiveness to the ideas and develop more complex sequences of letters and numbers along with discussions regarding Catholic Saints.