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Curriculum

Kid with Digital Tablet

Language Arts

Language Arts is taught throughout the curriculum. Elements include shared reading, which teaches reading skills and concepts, literature enjoyment from a variety of authors, writing, speaking, listening and independent reading.Teachers will use a variety of assessments such as observation, checklists, trial books and the use of specialists (when warranted), to determine the reading readiness of each child. Books may also be sent home for further enjoyment.

Typical Spelling/Writing Stages

Writing and spelling is a journey of exploration for children. They start with drawings, scribbling and word-like writing and progress to "mock writing" (use of upper case letters), As they progress, children begin to make letter/sound relationships and usually select the letters which represent the sounds that they hear. Children make comprehensive use of letter/sound relationships and correct spelling of the words they know. Children have opportunities to write at their level on a daily basis.

Zoo-phonics is the program of choice in St Gerard's for building reading and spelling skills at Nursery and Kindergarten levels. Zoo-phonics has been proven to help children become good readers and spellers through hearing (phono), speaking, (oral), seeing (visual), doing (kinesthetic) and touching (tactile). The program is supported with a wide variety of resource materials like flash cards, computer programs, songs. Children find Zoo-phonics fun because of the use of animal characters and body signals to identify sounds of letters. By the time the children at St Gerard's School reach the end of K2, they will have been fully prepared for entrance into the Singapore school system at Primary 1.

Art Class
Young Kids in Class

Mother Tongue

St Gerard's offers Mandarin as mother tongue languages. Under our Mandarin Language programme, the children will begin recognising Mandarin characters from Nursery and will then progress to learning the strokes of Mandarin characters in Kindergarten 1. In Kindergarten 2, the children will learn Hanyu Pinyin, which constitutes the first chapter of the Primary 1 syllabus.

Mathematics and Numeracy Skills

All children attending St Gerard's School will receive a solid foundation in maths and numeracy skills. In the very early years, the children use oral methods to master the concept of numbers and simple counting. Maths is taught first and foremost through hands-on activities so that the practical application of concepts is thoroughly understood. In addition, a strong problem-solving approach is adopted throughout the maths curriculum so that the children pick up critical and creative thinking processes from a young age. This domain includes patterns and relationships, number concepts and operations, geometry and spatial relations, measurement, probability, and statistics. Mathematical thinking is an integral part of so much of Kindergarten play--blocks, computer games, sand and water table, quiet choices, and small group discussion. At this level exploration is a major learning mode. We also do some formal introduction of pattern blocks, math blocks, patterning, sorting (bears, buttons, shells, etc.), body rhythms, multiple building materials (legos, discs, connectors, pipeworks, workbench), and card and board games.

Child at school
Kids in Technology Class

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

This aspect of our curriculum includes science and nature studies, as well as history, geography and social studies. Scientific thinking at all levels encourage students to observe, investigate, question, predict, explain, and form conclusions. Nature and awareness of the environment encourages the children to better appreciate the physical world that we live in. Nature and science exploration include growing plants, observing insects, walking in the park and nature trails. Science experimentation will be incorporated to explain concepts as part of the thematic learning. Regular field trips, designed around the themes for the month, will supplement children's understanding of the world.

Creative Development

Creativity must be nurtured from a young age if it is to truly flourish. Firm in this belief, St Gerard's School encourages even the youngest children to develop their natural creative flair through an exciting variety of art and craft activities, music and movement, cookery and creative and dramatic play. Children explore a wide variety of materials and techniques through these creative activities, which have been designed to stimulate their imagination. As the children are at the early stages of developing their fine and gross motor skills, the focus is more on the process rather than on the finished product. Each day, children will be encouraged to express themselves as they play, sing, dance, draw, role-play, write, build with blocks and wood, and work on self-directed projects. Problem solving activities are presented to encourage creative thought processes. A variety of tools, materials, processes and techniques are used at St Gerard's School to involve children in explorations of line, shape, color and texture. Children's work is displayed around the classroom and samples may be included in our parent newsletter.

Art Class
Girls Carrying a Recycling Bin

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Developing the whole child is a vital part of any early childhood program. At St Gerard's, we aim to develop children's sense of self-worth and self-confidence by laying the foundations for good social and moral behaviour. One of our goals is to develop in the child, a comfort level that demonstrates self-confidence, initiative, self-direction, and self-control in a variety of activities and responsibilities within the classroom. Transitions, use of materials, clean-up, circle, sharing routines, and self-help skills all allow the child to practice and progress in these areas.

Another goal is to determine a particular child's approach to learning and to capitalize on his/her strengths. This allows us to offer opportunities for him/her to take risks with new work areas to acquire flexible attitudes, to experiment with new ideas, and to stretch imaginative and creative possibilities within that work area. The last goal in this domain, and certainly the most challenging one for the children, is interaction with other children and adults, and conflict resolution within those interactions. Throughout the school day, children have opportunities to cooperatively play with many different combinations of children in a wide variety of mixed-age groups. They participate in group circles, learning to listen, share, and follow group rules; play quiet choice games in small groups.

Physical Development

The physical domain is critical to the development of young children. At the pre-school level, we focus on the further development of gross and the fine motor development as well as coordination, balance, body control and self-help skills. We have outdoor play time every day, which allows children to move and grow freely in their skill development. We further enhance and developed their experiences through a systematic movement program which use a variety of objects. Group activities that integrate coordinated body movements such as skipping, galloping, hopping, tiptoeing, walking forward and backward, jumping rope, animal movements, ball handling games, and tag variations are presented regularly. Fine motor activities are also a very important part of the preschool curriculum and is constantly emphasized through writing, art, etc. Sometimes we have specific assignments that require cutting, pasting, taping, stapling, molding, painting and building with small and large objects. Puzzles, board and card games, fantasy dress up, color mixing, puppet making, all offer many fine motor challenges to the children as well.

Raising Arms
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