EC Academics & Curriculum
OverviewThe Early Childhood academic program is designed to provide developmentally appropriate, rigorous instruction to stimulate our students’ intellectual curiosity and provide the strong foundation of skills and knowledge required for continued academic success at the Upper Elementary, Upper School, and Collegiate Institute Campuses and beyond.
The curriculum is aligned with the Common Core Curriculum Frameworks and emphasizes critical thinking, collaborative learning, and the habits of mind of high achieving learners. The Early Childhood curriculum provides a strong foundation in Literacy and Mathematics, and Social Studies is woven into our literacy program. In addition, each student has classes in Science, Computer Science, Art, Music, Library, and Physical Education each week. Students learn in whole class, small group, and individual settings. Our teachers differentiate their instruction by designing multi-faceted lessons and units to accommodate each student’s learning style, current skill level, and interests in order to meet their academic needs and ensure that they reach their highest potential.
The Early Childhood Campus utilizes the Common Core-aligned Journeys literacy curriculum in order to provide our students with a strong foundation of language, reading comprehension, and vocabulary skills. Beyond this, teachers have created thematic writing units where students bring several pieces through the full writing process throughout the year. In order to ensure that students meet rigorous end of year reading, teachers utilize RTI (an intervention block) in order to provide students with individualized supports and extensions.
The Early Childhood Campus uses Math in Focus, a rigorous program based on Singapore Math. Math in Focus concentrates on problem-solving, mathematical thinking and communication, and the Common Core standards, including place value, number sense, computation, measurement, fractions, and geometry. Math in Focus provides for a balance of both procedural fluency (automaticity with math facts and operations) and conceptual understanding. One of the foundations of Math in Focus is that students learn concepts and skills through the use of concrete materials, visuals, and numbers. Many teachers support students to achieve in mathematics, including K-3 classroom and special education teachers, ELL teachers, and three math specialists.
In science class, student’s interest will be sparked through authentic, real world connections and hands on exploration. Their journey will dive deep into many of the countless facets that exist within the subject area of science.
In art, students explore different materials, techniques, and styles in order to express themselves in a creative way and deepen their knowledge across subjects and world cultures.
Students learn to use computer technology independently as they develop fundamental skills at the Early Childhood Campus. Most of the computer skills students practice will be transferred from one application to another as they go through the grades at PHA.
The goal of the K-3 library program is to support literacy and academic achievement while fostering a lifelong love of reading. Through a variety of activities, students distinguish, locate and read different genres of literature as they learn how our library is organized, how to choose a “just right” book, and how to check out a book.
In music, students are introduced to rhythm, melody, tone, songwriting, notation, and melody through singing, experimenting with instruments, and exploring different genres of music throughout history.
During physical education classes, students engage in movement, exercise and activities that provide the opportunity to explore themselves and at the same time interact with others. Students also get a chance to recognize individual differences and how to establish group relationship through play.