Students in All Saints’ Early Childhood program engage in developmentally appropriate learning activities that promote a developmental balance of academic, social, emotional, physical and spiritual skills. Whether going from our 3-year-old class to Pre-K or from Pre-K or Bridge K on to Kindergarten, deliberate planning in all content areas ensures our students are prepared for the next step in their educational journey.
All Saints’ early childhood curriculum and activities will be designed to promote skills beyond self.
Children will be encouraged to build on interaction with others, teachers and groups. Children will observe and explore, problem solve and learn social skills to foster independence and create confidence. Preschoolers will also be taught important life skills of sharing, respect, appropriately resolving conflict and communicating with words.
Teaching about God, traditions and disciplines, along with examples of faith, are lasting gifts to our children.
The curriculum and activities in the All Saints’ early childhood program will promote a spiritual awareness at the appropriate developmental level of our impressionable preschoolers. Bible stories, lessons, praying, songs and devotionals will connect learning about faith to living in faith. Children’s thoughts and feelings about God or other spiritual subjects are a natural part of their development. At our preschool, we will encourage children’s spiritual growth by incorporating into our curriculum lessons on faith, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, kindness and love. Children are never too young to learn about faith or engage in questions about faith, and our program, while not proselytizing, is purposefully ecumenical in the Episcopal tradition.
Students in our Early Childhood program are at the perfect age to explore topics and skills of STEAM through play, and apply their learning to other content areas and into their everyday lives. The collaborative blend of learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math allows our three to five-year-olds to dig deeper into learning and foster their interests.
Each morning in circle time, we get to hear the squeals of delight when our early childhood students are assigned to be line leader, door holder, or prayer, snack, and calendar helper. Our three-, four-, and five-year-olds love to be responsible for a task during their school day and are learning the beginning steps of being a leader. We all want our children to be happy, have good character, be kind and respectful to others, have a positive and successful life, and possess leadership abilities. Children need guidance and practice to develop skills that will grow into qualities of leadership and that can begin in their early childhood years. The development of positive social and emotional skills is essential for young learners and three specific qualities that will also develop a student’s potential for leadership are integrity, confidence, and diversity & inclusion.
When I look around at the three to five year olds in our Early Childhood program, our students are laughing, playing, and joyful. However, in this world, stress is everywhere. No one can escape stress, not even our children. During this time of early childhood, children are developing socially and emotionally. Every day we watch our students learn to share; make friends; handle conflict, frustration, and disappointment; and learn to control their behavior and emotions. As educators, we need to realize our part in fostering this healthy development. We want our students to learn to cope with life challenges and manage everyday problems.
At school each day, we have opportunities for our students, families, and teachers to learn from each other about our differences, which creates experiences involving diversity amongst us. Children model what they see and learn, so we need to be a model, as well as provide experiences of acknowledging and embracing differences.
If you ask one of our Early Childhood students what they did at school today, they could answer that they observed how a real-life crane works, what types of grasses are around our campus, how they filled up a cup with water using eye droppers, and how they formed the letter Q using wood sticks, Wiki Sticks, and dot paints. These are just a few examples of how our youngest students are learning by doing.
What could be better than knowing we have a chance to make a difference in the lives of our students? We are contributing to the development of their values, morals, and character and we may not even realize what an honor that is. The early childhood years are an important time to lay the foundation of character development. During the school day, our teachers have countless opportunities to build trusting relationships with our students, introduce core ethical values, and foster the elements of developing good character. This is an important role we are charged with, as influencing character development will have an impact on our students’ future. Whether it be guiding our students through behaviors that are right and wrong, helping them learn to problem solve, creating an environment that fosters a sense of belonging, or exposing them to opportunities that build resilience, is a privilege we, at All Saints’, do not take lightly. We are committed to shaping and molding the character of our students.
When parents decide to enroll their children in our Early Childhood program, we feel it is a privilege that they chose us to care for, nurture, protect, and teach their children. We take this role very seriously and we strive to meet the expectations set upon us to promote the intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual development of each of our students. An essential part of a successful experience for a child, at any age in school, is our partnership with the parents.
Getting the classrooms ready, working on lesson plans, getting to know the names of children in our classes, setting an alarm clock in the morning again – these are all preparations that come with beginning a new school year. An integral part of preparation that I want to ensure in each classroom is the planning of innovative teaching and learning opportunities.
All Saints’ Episcopal School is a leading college preparatory day school in Fort Worth, Texas. Grounded in the Episcopal school tradition, All Saints’ offers programming of national distinction in the academic, fine art, athletic and spiritual disciplines, which brings to life our philosophy of promoting each student’s individual genius within.