The curriculum is based on a philosophy of learning by doing - moving from the concrete to the abstract. Social and learning experiences foster creativity, exploration, self-discipline, self-esteem, concern for others and a love of learning. The instructional program is developmentally appropriate and focuses on the whole child - his/her physical, social, emotional, cognitive and spiritual development.
Play is the core of learning at the Day School. Young children make discoveries, master skills, solve problems and learn to get along with others through play. The lesson plans at all levels involve the use of blocks, art materials, dramatic play centers, sand, water, dough, table toys, music and literature. The program respects the uniqueness of each child and offers experiences that meet individual needs.
Faith is an integral part of the daily curriculum. All children and staff members attend a weekly chapel service led by members of the parish clergy. Children learn about God and Jesus through stories, songs, prayers, role playing and adult modeling. The clergy of the Church of the Good Samaritan offer their support to the school families of all faiths.
Music education is fun!! Working closely together, the two music teachers share responsibility of enriching the music program for each child. Using a variety of activities that engage their bodies and their minds, the children are introduced to the concepts of beat, rhythm, pitch and tempo at an appropriate level for their age. Each year reinforces and expands on the concepts from the year before. Different instruments and sounds are used to help achieve this purpose. Music class is also the place where we prepare for a variety of programs presented throughout the year. At the annual Christmas Chapel each class (3 years and older) performs a song they have learned to sing just for this special event. The 4 and 5 year old classes work on a program typically performed in March, while the Kindergarten class performs a play in the spring that coincides with what they are learning in the classroom.
Gym is a program of perceptual motor activity where children are encouraged to discover the ways their bodies can move. It is broken into 3 parts:
1) Body Image or Awareness - Children are taught to distinguish left from right, name body parts, become aware of the two sides of their body and realize where their body can bend and move.
2) Balance and Equilibrium - Children are taught about space and direction through crawling, jumping, balancing, rolling, climbing and using cross-over mats.
3) Eye, Hand and Foot Coordination - Children are taught coordination by using ball activities, skipping, hopping, walking heel-toes and throwing.
Every child attends gym class once a week. The 5 day children attend twice a week. Following directions and "fair play" is encouraged. Having fun in a controlled setting is always stressed. And sneakers are a must!
The philosophy and desired educational goal of the Day School Library is to create a "Love" of books. Through the presentation of fun loving and educational stories the students develop both an appreciation for literature as well as beginning reading skills. An early love for books has been found to foster a desire to read. This desire then nurtures the early reader, helping him or her to become a successful reader. Children who like to read generally become better readers. The better reader then reads more often and the cycle of success continues. "Reading books is FUN" is the primary reason for students to want to engage in reading books for themselves. The stories that are read during Library time are chosen to build knowledge and encourage students to become life-long readers.