Infant - Pre-K
St. Benedict’s welcomes the youngest of our students into an environment rich in play and imagination which sets the stage for further educational development. Offering a half-day or full-day option, along with before school and after school care, our students enjoy time together in the classroom and on the playground.
Preschool: Infant to Age 2
We believe in the sanctity of childhood and we believe in the value of play. When you visit one of our classrooms you may see, at first glance, blocks strewn across the floor, paint smeared hands, a drum circle, laughter, singing - if you look closely you will see children engaged in learning through experiential activities in a safe environment where they are cared for, nurtured, and respected. The classroom is full of movement and sound. Through play, children are learning about themselves, each other, and their environment. Through play, children are making meaning out of their world. Our teachers have created a curriculum that provides opportunities for growth in the following developmental domains: Physical, Social and Emotional, Play and Learning, Communication, Language, and Literacy, and Cognitive. Spanish is introduced through colors, numbers, and the use of common words and phrases throughout the day. We introduce phonetic awareness through the use of Zoo-phonics. Outdoor play is an intrinsic part of our day. Our teachers structure the environment, but not the processes of play itself. We allow flexibility in our daily plans to meet the interests of the children. We strive to create a framework of love and acceptance that will set the stage for discovery and growth and build a firm foundation for later learning.
The three-year-old program at St. Benedict’s is play-based because we believe play is the most important work of a child. Play builds a strong foundation for learning and bolsters a child’s imagination, builds vocabulary, and enhances social skills. Our program focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, emotional, social, physical, creative, and imaginative. Children explore and engage in imaginative play through block building, puzzles, role-playing, water play, music, movement, art, songs, and stories. An introduction to phonemic awareness is the foundational building block to literacy. We focus on a positive sense of self-worth as children begin to socialize through sharing, taking turns, listening, talking, and comparing ideas. Because we learn about the world through the use of our senses, the indoor and outdoor classroom environment provides activities to stimulate the senses. We work on gross motor skills such as running, skipping, sliding, climbing, pushing, and pulling. Stringing beads, filling containers, painting, and stacking are just a few of the fine motor skills that children further develop in our three-year-old program. Ultimately, your child will be a valued member of a safe, loving, and nurturing classroom that engages in active play and discovery.
Children continue to learn through play in the Pre-Kindergarten program at St. Benedict’s because we know that play encourages communication, builds relationships, and enhances cognitive development. We are committed to fostering an active learning environment where students take creative risks, feed their curiosity, and learn to express themselves. Our Pre-K students wonder, question, role-play, work as a team, experiment, investigate, laugh, and have fun every single day.
As we prepare our Pre-K students for Kindergarten, students engage in developmentally appropriate experiences that support each child’s individuality and academic, social, emotional, and physical development. Our Kindergarten readiness curriculum emphasizes growth in language and literacy through the implementation of phonemic awareness, phonics, and pre-reading skills. We use Happily Ever After, the introductory literacy series to the Super Kids curriculum used in Kindergarten and First Grade. Handwriting without Tears introduces prewriting and handwriting skills to our Pre-K students. Additionally, our Pre-K students are scientists, mathematicians, artists, and architects. They solve problems, think deeply, use their imagination, and develop interpersonal skills—all without realizing how much they’re learning. Pre-K students have Spanish, music, and chapel on a weekly basis.
We recognize the importance of introducing a second language to all of our students from a very young age. Starting in our three-year-old program, students are exposed to the Spanish language everyday using a whole brain approach: they “hear” it, “speak” it, “see” it, “move” with it, and “touch” it using stories, songs, and games to weave in leaning while making it fun. We use Zoo Phonics en Español as a complement to our comprehensive curriculum.
St. Benedict’s Music Program aims to build a lifelong appreciation of music, starting with our 3-year-old students singing, dancing, and playing games. Following the Kodály Method, these activities teach them pitch, rhythm, improvisation, and expression using voice and body, establishing a solid foundation. Our Lower School students continue singing folk songs from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds with ever more complex melodies, dances and games. By Middle School music they are well prepared for ensembles (band or choir) where they will further their talents and love for music through different genres and periods of music.
Chapel is an important part of our shared life at St. Benedict's Episcopal School and our Preschool Three’s and Pre-K students attend chapel every week. We gather together to support one another, to strengthen and celebrate our community, and to learn about and reflect on how we can share the love of God beyond our school. This time is filled with prayer, song, laughter, reflection, and concern for others. There is always an open invitation for parents, relatives, and friends of every faith tradition to join us.