Primary & Kindergarten
(3-6 years old)
Primary (3-6 years old)
The Village School Primary Program is specifically designed to meet the needs of children ages 3 – 6 years. For details of our curriculum please see the descriptions of the individual areas below.
A key principle of the Primary Program (indeed, of all our programs) is the multi-age classroom. We know that children progress at different rates in different areas. In a mixed-age group the younger children have role models in the older children, and the older children acquire additional confidence by being the classroom “elders”. For them, teaching a younger child is an excellent way to consolidate their own learning.
The Primary classroom environment is carefully planned and is rich with Montessori materials that encourage hands-on learning. The children learn by doing; they work with concrete self-correcting materials that aid in the grasping of abstract concepts. Materials are carefully organized from the simplest to the most complex, with each activity broken down into logical and sequential steps. The children are given individual lessons by their teacher on each material and are encouraged to master one before moving on to the next. Everything in the classroom is child-sized; each classroom includes a child-sized private bathroom. It is the children’s environment, designed to support their feeling comfortable and confident in their own ‘work’ place.
The Primary Program focuses on the whole child; close attention is paid to each child’s academic, social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth. The Village School works to provide the child a wholesome learning experience where each individual child is respected. The children become naturally self-motivated as their independence is developed and encouraged. This in turn nourishes their self-image and helps them to be self-motivated. Each child feels success and enthusiasm because they are appropriately challenged to their abilities.
Teachers keep thorough notes and observations and plan appropriate work for every child. Respect for each other, as well as for the environment is part of the Grace and Courtesy that is modeled and encouraged, not just at the Primary level but also throughout The Village School. The children are introduced to public speaking as they are given opportunities to speak to their class as a group and respond to questions and comments. They begin to understand the idea of research and investigation through various activities found in the environment. Children work independently, in pairs and small and large groups, learning problem solving, social skills and organization in the process.
The Primary Program has an average student to teacher ratio of 10 to 1.
Kindergarten (5-6 years old)
The Village School Kindergarten Program is a unique and wonderful experience for children that are 5 years old by September 30. The class consists of up to 12 children with one teacher. This program offers the opportunity for the sustained independent work that is the core of the Montessori Method, as well as additional academic challenges within a whole group experience. The Kindergarten year is a critical component of our three-year Primary Program. This is a period when the work that students have practiced during the first two years in Primary is integrated academically and conceptually into a new level of understanding.
Our Kindergarten Program is a full-day academic program and serves as a bridge to elementary (particularly Montessori elementary), offering in-depth explorations of academic materials. Children are in a Montessori environment for the entire day, which affords them many advantages. One half of the day is spent with their same aged kindergarten peers, while the other is spent in the multi-age primary (3-6 yr) classroom. In the multi-age classroom, they often naturally assume positions of responsibility and leadership while serving as mentors to their younger peers. They develop increased attention to a task as they work on activities that require multiple steps and a longer period of time to complete. Leadership skills emerge and social skills are refined as the children accept more responsibilities within the mixed age group.
The classroom contains the traditional areas of our primary (3-6) Montessori classroom, which are Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, Geography and Science, with the addition of many advanced Montessori materials. The children have a teacher-created work plan that guides them through their required activities for the week, such as writing books, math books, and journals. It helps them learn important life skills such as time management and independence. Opportunities are made available for students to expand the research abilities learned in their Primary class. They build upon their public speaking skills during group activities and read-alouds.
The Special Programs: Art, Music, Spanish, Physical Education, Technology and Health are taught by dedicated specialists in those fields and form an important part of the Kindergarten Program.
The Kindergarten Program has an average student to teacher ratio of 12 to 1.