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A Love of Learning

The Primary School at Derby Academy (Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten)

A Message from the Head of School ... We have all shared a smile over Robert Fulghum’s heartwarming poem claiming that it was kindergarten rather than graduate school that taught him the most important life lessons. Although reason dictates that we can’t possibly know everything by the age of six, there turns out to be irrefutable evidence supporting the impact of a strong pre-kindergarten and kindergarten program to future success in school and life. A well designed, developmentally appropriate curriculum, builds a solid foundation that best prepares children for academic and social growth. Although the work of early learning may closely resemble our notion of play, talented teachers ensure that important skills and attitudes are developed during these two years that endure well beyond kindergarten. At Derby, our early learners are fortunate to be guided by master teachers who have strong educational backgrounds and years of experience creating an unparalleled classroom environment. They are also fortunate to be an integral part of a broader Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 8 community that nurtures positive interactions with the older students with whom they share the resources of a beautiful 27 acre campus. Fulghum ends his poem with the words “be aware of wonder.” Our unique blend of integrated themes and specialist teachers provides myriad opportunities for fulfillment and wonder. Our students build their personal, social and emotional skills and learn to communicate effectively through engagement in active learning that focuses on literacy, mathematics, understanding their world and creative self expression. I invite you to visit our campus to see if our emphasis on excellence and community is a good fit for your family.

Andrea Archer

Head of School

Language Arts Our Language Arts curriculum is guided by the belief that the process of seeing, hearing and using language – not only in reading lessons but across the curriculum – lays a strong foundation for successful literacy development and a life-long appreciation of reading. In Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, our students are given the infrastructure and tools to develop into avid readers and prolific writers.

In Pre-Kindergarten:

In Kindergarten:

Our students learn to: • Identify letters and the sound each letter makes • Write lower and upper case letters • Understand that letters strung together can become words • Recognize phonemic patterns including rhymes and alliteration • Differentiate between fiction and non-fiction books • Identify setting, plot and characters in a story

Our students learn to:

They develop skills by: • Actively participating and thinking critically • Creating original stories • Dramatizing favorite tales • Listening to books and asking and answering questions about the stories • Strengthening fine motor skills to aid in writing • Writing and illustrating their own stories

• Understand that words consist of syllables and phonemes • Recognize vowels, consonants, syllables, short and long vowel sounds, red words (sight words) • Distinguish the difference between a complete sentence and a fragment • Create illustrations that connect to the written word • Differentiate, blend, segment, and manipulate sounds and words • Make connections and predictions • Understand and utilize writing mechanics

They develop skills by: • Participating in shared and guided reading • Engaging in letter/sound games and activities • Segmenting, counting and blending syllables • Journal writing using inventive and phonetic spelling • Utilizing writing mechanics and the editing process • Using and spelling high frequency words independently • Applying spelling conventions to their work • Generating individual ABC Books


Meet Mrs. Keneally • Derby’s Lower School Reading Specialist •

Spent a year at the Carroll School in Lincoln, MA where she earned an Orton Gillingham certification and was introduced to the field of language-based learning differences and dyslexia.

An avid student of all there is to learn about “the reading brain” and has found her passion: teaching young children how to read.

Holds a master’s in teaching and is a certified reading therapist through The Garside Institute.


Meet Mrs. Loud • Derby’s Pre-Kindergarten Teacher • • •

More than 15 years at Derby. Early teaching opportunities include work as a Preschool-Kindergarten teacher; a ChildLife Specialist at Maine Medical Hospital, Portland, ME; and a respite worker for abused children. Holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in early childhood education.

MATHEMATICS Our math program is developmentally appropriate, rigorous and child centered. Children explore concepts through the use of manipulatives, games and hands-on activities. The University of Chicago’s Everyday Mathematics program is utilized; it emphasizes creative thinking as well as problem solving. Children connect concrete numbers to abstract ideas through the use of both physical exploration and mental arithmetic.

In Pre-Kindergarten:

In Kindergarten:

Our students explore: • Numbers in an out of sequence • Counting with one-to-one correspondence • Measurement • Patterns and shapes • Different aspects of the calendar • Weather information

Our students explore: • Place value • Counting by ones, twos, fives, tens and counting backwards • Basic math facts • Data analysis • Telling time • Geometry • Money

They explore by: • Measuring using standard (rulers) and nonstandard methods (blocks or strings) • Graphing data • Comparing and contrasting • Sorting and classifying

They explore by: • Maintaining a daily calendar • Sequencing using planning cards • Manipulating clocks • Presenting data to the class • Completing “Minute Math” activities • Problem solving using manipulatives • Hands-on, experiential learning


Meet Mrs. Christopher • Derby’s Pre-Kindergarten Teacher and Primary School Science Specialist •

Has taught children ranging from Pre-Kindergarten to second grade

Was a wildlife trainer and worked for the World Bird Sanctuary running educational programs for children and adults. She even worked with Jack Hanna, the famous wildlife specialist!

Holds a master’s degree in elementary education.

SCIENCE Our science curriculum in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten is driven by seasonal changes and the environment. Hands-on investigations and interactive experiences are the foundation of the science curriculum and trigger children’s natural sense of wonder and curiosity. We encourage the development and discovery of the scientist in each child.

In Pre-Kindergarten:

In Kindergarten:

We Discover: • The difference between living and nonliving things • How seasonal changes impact the world around them • How people and animals interact with the environment through the five senses • The growing process of plants and flowers • The age of dinosaurs • That germs and hygiene are related

We Discover: • The life cycle of plants • Symmetry • The solar system • The unique qualities of Earth • The meanings of migration, hibernation and adaptation • Natural resources, recycling and composting • Nutrition

We discover these things by: • Growing and releasing butterflies • Reflecting on our own experiences • Taking nature walks

We discover these things by: • Dissecting a sunflower • Observing patterns within nature • Becoming astronauts • Predicting how to save our natural resources • Planting and weeding in the Derby Children’s Garden • Analyzing nutrition labels on food • Recycling items in the classroom • Composting uneaten food from lunch

Project-based Learning At Derby Academy, PK- Grade 5 classrooms are enhanced by the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). The IPC is a series of units, time-tested and teacher-developed work that provides cross-curricular, thematic and rigorous teaching structure designed to engage children in today’s world. The IPC combines the study of arts, language, physical education and technology with core courses such as science, math, history and geography. Each unit starts with an exciting “entry point” and follows with investigations, research and problem solving. The IPC is about strong teaching and curriculum, excellent education, strong students and inspiring a love of learning. Children are motivated to remain curious and continue learning. The program works to the core of Derby’s mission: To Improve Both Mind and Heart.

Why IPC in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5? The IPC empowers children to become lifelong learners by challenging students to be creative and to take responsibility for their own learning. The IPC units connect all aspects of a school’s curriculum and focuses on developing and mastering skills that will be used well beyond Derby Academy.

IPC Personal Goals The personal goals refer to those individual qualities and dispositions we believe children will find essential in the 21st century. They help to develop those qualities that will enable children to be at ease with the continually changing context of their lives.

• Enquiry

• Morality

• Thoughtfulness

• Respect

• Resilience

• Communication

• Cooperation

• Adaptability

PK IPC Unit: Let’s Pretend MUSIC/ ART Write music to accompany a puppet show Re-enact traditional tales from around the world Make finger puppets to use in retelling of favorite children’s story Play instruments to match an emotion

MATH Make a “magic” math box Practice mathematical functions using cards in box (add one, double it) Explore patterns within number groups

SCIENCE Join an archaeological dig in the sandbox Compare and contrast tracks of different dinosaurs Record findings and observations in an explorer’s journal Design and build sets for a dinosaur puppet show

SPANISH Listen to traditional tales from Spanish-speaking countries Act out tales in small groups Retell tales using Spanish words

Meet Mr. Zavala - Derby’s Primary School Spanish Teacher

• • • • •

A native Spanish speaker, originally from Mexico Uses his passion for music to engage students in language studies Designed a pre-kindergarten through grade 6 Spanish curriculum used by numerous independent schools. Holds two master’s degrees in music Completed the Gesell Developmental Observation workshop on developmental skills and evaluation systems for elementary school students

Meet Mrs. Fish - Derby’s Lower School Library and Technology Teacher •

Teaches Lower School Library to Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 3 and Technology to Grades 1-3.

Holds a bachelor of science degree from Lesley University and a Massachusetts Professional Teaching certification in K-8 education as well as K-12 art.

Continued her studies in technology education at Lesley.

PK IPC Unit: Treasures MUSIC


Sing sea shanties and recognize rhyme and rhythm

Create and illustrate a pirate story

Play THE SLEEPING PIRATE GAME and use various instruments to make music accompaniment

Make coins and other treasures from homemade play-dough Draw pictures of a favorite personal treasure and create a book of class treasures



Explore the features unique to islands

Estimate the number of coins in a treasure chest

On a world map, plot where pirates traveled

Design and construct a pirate ship

Follow a map to hunt for treasure around campus

Using various materials, build an island

Meet Mrs. Ankrum - Derby’s Pre-Kindergarten Music Teacher • • •

Holds a bachelor’s of music Studied music education and bassoon performance. Has performed in many orchestras both in the United States and abroad.

Her enthusiasm for music education lead her to continue her studies at the New England Conservatory’s Kodály Music Institute.

Meet Mrs. Donovan - Derby’s Primary School Visual Arts Teacher •

Has taught art for 22 years, and taught at Derby for 10 years.

Began her career at a Montessori school where she created a program focused on developing age-appropriate classes that integrated classroom studies and art.

Has been the Visual Arts Head at Derby Academy’s Summer Arts Program for 18 years

Holds a master’s of education and has studied at the New England School or Art and Design at Suffolk University.

Meet Mrs. Rizzotto - Derby’s Kindergarten Teacher •

Has taught Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten at Derby Academy for more than 30 years.

Began her teaching career as a head teacher/center director for a non-profit day care agency, where she turned her attention to connections between play, learning and each child’s development.

Committed to creating a classroom environment that balances social and cognitive discovery and growth.

Is a dedicated gardener and enjoys sharing this interest with her students.

K IPC Unit: We are What We Eat SCIENCE


Compare foods based on nutritional value

Sculpt a favorite vegetable

Begin using the scientific method

Draw pictures for the journal created in Spanish

Discuss why our body needs food

Create an advertisement for a favorite food



Celebrate with a fiesta with various food from Spanish-speaking countries

Plot on a world map where certain foods are grown

Learn the words for a variety of foods

Discuss why foods are grown where they are

Publish a journal with newly learned vocabulary

Investigate why famines and droughts occur

K IPC Unit: Let’s Celebrate! Physical Education


Perform an original celebration dance

Design and create masks to use in an original celebration

Create a game to be played during celebrations Play a game used to celebrate in another culture

Decorate the classroom for a class celebration Record drawings in an artist’s journal



Listen to music used in celebrations around the world

Research why people before us had celebrations

Compose an original celebration song

Compare today’s celebrations with those from the past

Explore playing instruments from different cultures

Put together a time capsule with artifacts from our celebrations

Meet Mrs. Carbeau - Derby’s Kindergarten Teacher •

Has been a teacher at Derby since 1993

Holds a degree in elementary education

Taught first grade before coming to Derby’s kindergarten classroom.

Strives to provide learning experiences, academic activities and a supportive classroom environment that teaches children to care, challenges each child to do the best they can, encourages them to be inquisitive, and motivates them to be lifelong learners.

Mission Derby Academy is a coeducational, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8 school that nurtures the development of the child by providing opportunities for the maximum intellectual, emotional and physical growth of each student. Our dedicated faculty inspires students to discover the joy of intellectual curiosity, mastery of learning skills and service to the community. Students are also guided toward an awakening sense of personal responsibility in order to prepare them to make ethical and mindful contributions in an increasingly interdependent world.

Apply Now Meet the Enrollment Office Chris Brophy Admission Coordinator

Applications for all grade levels, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Eight, are now being accepted. For specific details about the application process for a particular grade, contact Chris Brophy in the Enrollment Office at 781-749-0746 x46 or 781-749-0746 x46

Application Deadlines

• Pre-Kindergarten applications are accepted on a rolling Nicole Carnes Director of Lower School Admission 781-749-0746 x30

basis beginning in October.

• The application deadline for Kindergarten through Grade 3 is January 17.

• The deadline for Grades 4-8 is February 1. • Applications filed after these dates will be considered on a

Scot Chandler Director of Enrollment Management 781-749-0746 x15

rolling basis.

Please note that those applying to Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Grade One must be four, five and six years of age respectively by September 1 of the entering year to be eligible for enrollment. Questions? Contact a member of the Enrollment Office today!

Primary School Brochure  

Learn more about Derby Academy's Primary School for students in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten.