Mount Pisgah Christian School
Preschool Curriculum Overview Ages 6 weeks â€“ 5 years
College Prep. Life Ready.
Mission statement To provide an outstanding college preparatory education grounded in Christian faith and values.
Because young children learn by doing, Pisgah provides hands-on activities and close interaction with teachers. The curriculum is carefully planned with fun activities that promote cognitive development, creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Most importantly, through these fun activities, children begin developing a love for learning.
Introduction Because children’s development is continuous from preschool through the junior primary phase, they need educational experiences that are continuous. This means that through the early childhood development phase, one learning experience will build on another. At Pisgah, we are blessed to begin the Pisgah Primary Experience in the preschool and uphold the Pisgah Primary Experience mission statement.
Learning Environment “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14 It has become generally accepted that a child’s early years are extremely important in terms of developing his or her full potential as a happy and successful human being. Children have a need for affection and consistency, security and trust and realistic adult expectations. As educators at Pisgah, we strive to model Christ-like behavior and use “teachable moments” to demonstrate the love of Jesus throughout the day. Every child is uniquely created by God and mutual respect is fostered in the preschool. This view is reflected in our goal to meet the children where they are and help move them forward to reach their full potential in a loving and supportive environment which upholds Christian values. Faculty determine each child’s current stage of learning in regard to all areas: physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and creative. Through this determination, along with ongoing assessment as a means to evaluate and implement this process, we strive to reach our goal. We recognize that good intentions would not be enough and that, in order to achieve our goal, we need to have a purposeful curriculum which supports our mission. In the preschool, we use a thematic, developmentally appropriate approach in teaching concepts. Learning centers are set up in self-contained sections of the classrooms in which children use instructional material to engage in independent and self-directed learning activities. The teacher incorporates specific areas of study and the theme is integrated to accommodate pre-reading, pre-writing, pre-mathematic and
pre-scientific skills. Language skills and history and geography are approached using various media and teaching methods. In our approach to geography, we learn to recognize and value the differences between people and similarities between cultures. We also learn about continents, mapping skills and patterns of movement of people, products and information. Time is allocated both for free play activities, where children might be learning through play in the fantasy corner or block center, as well as for structured learning. Perception is regarded as one of the most important conditions for learning. Perception is the interpretation which the brain gives to data fed through it through the senses. Throughout the day, our preschoolers are exposed to activities which are designed to encourage perceptual development through sensory exploration. In addition to learning from the use of their senses, children also learn from the adults in their lives. Together with parents, our teachers and faculty provide the necessary assistance or “scaffold” that enables both the “field sensitive” and “field independent” learner to move to the next level of independent functioning. Field sensitive children like to work with others and ask guidance from the teacher. Field independent children prefer to work alone, concentrate on the activity and prefer open-ended activities. In knowing the child and understanding his or her different learning styles, we are equipped to provide the best opportunities and support in our preschoolers’ learning experiences.
Language Arts Language develops rapidly during the early childhood years. When children learn language they are learning aspects that have to do with sound or phonology, meaning of words and word combinations, structure and grammatical rules, and practical everyday use of appropriate words. In the preschool, the teacher serves as a model for everyday language; what is communicated and how it is communicated is very important. Both planned and unplanned experiences are provided. Children are encouraged to share experiences and express themselves.
Emergent Literacy The beginnings of reading and writing and the teaching of language cannot be separated. Our emergent reading and writing program is part of a whole language program incorporating a print rich environment where sight words are displayed at every opportunity. In addition, our preschoolers are encouraged to engage in sound play inclusive of rhyming words, opportunities to hear alliteration and a variety of oral language activities that encourage childrenâ€™s natural development of phonological awareness. These skills are important to the development of literacy. This stage, known as emergent literacy, begins at birth and continues through the preschool years. An exciting part of our whole language approach is the Letterland phonics program. Letterland is a child-friendly phonics program which uses a multi-sensory approach combining phonics and storytelling. In a fun and interactive setting, children learn about different letter characters with the use of pictograms. Literacy comes alive in our preschool as children enact Letterland concepts and dress as the different phonics characters. Phonemic awareness is thus instilled at an early age, providing for a good foundation for formal learning.
Emergent Mathematics Creative, stimulating and manipulative experiences are provided to create in the young child an awareness of the world of mathematics. Mathematical language concepts and experiences are included in our daily program as an integral part of activities. In order to develop thinking abilities and number readiness, pre-number experiences for classifying, comparing and ordering/seriating are incorporated into the day. Problem solving skills are developed through the use of handson activities which involve patterning; the child may build with beads or blocks in a particular sequence. Experiences of one-to-one matching are helpful in building an understanding of number conservation for the young child. Children are introduced to number conservation of four or fewer objects through observing different ways a number can â€œlookâ€? to a preschool child.
Counting, measuring, shape and spatial sense are naturally incorporated into the day of the preschool child at Pisgah and are webbed into the weekly theme.
Science in the preschool phase is viewed more as a verb than a noun â€“ in other words, not science, but sciencing. It is a way of thinking and acting in the process of discovering the nature of things. The thinking skills necessary to learn about our environment and solve the problems that we encounter in everyday life are called science process skills. Using all their senses, our children learn to observe, compare, classify, measure, infer, predict, experiment and communicate. In the preschool, an awareness of biological sciences is instilled through thematic exploration of plants and animals. Themes about space and the weather allow for physical science concepts to be taught. Our recently acquired â€œHappy Science Labâ€? has provided invaluable opportunity to implement the abovementioned science process skills. In the science lab, children enter a world of hands on experiences They are able to predict what will happen with an experiment and communicate their findings. Information technology is incorporated through visits to our Computer lab and through the use of the Smart Table which affords much technological experience. Our preschool children love to be involved in Design and Technology where they design and construct simple machines (e.g. making a play telephone).
Christian Education At Pisgah, every teacher and staff member is involved in the process of leading our preschoolers to God. Our program is designed to integrate Christian principles throughout daily activities and routines. Once a week, all classes attend chapel for a child-oriented worship service. Our chapel leader introduces the unit of study using Exploring God’s World curriculum and teachers songs related to the topic. A monthly Bible memory verse is taught to the whole preschool. In addition, the unit is expounded upon during God’s time in the classroom.
Character Education An important aspect of the development of the child is his social and emotional development. This includes a child’s relationship with himself and others, self concept, self-esteem and the ability to express feelings. At our preschool, we have caring, willing staff who will stop and use relevant situations that arise to help the child grow in this area of development. Good manners and intrinsic self control are the focus in our two-year-old program. Our older children are taught about the Character Critters. This program features stories for very young children with a message about six key elements of character development – Responsibility, Caring, Trustworthiness, Fairness, Citizenship and Respect. These basic elements of character are believed to be relevant for all individuals. It is felt that these elements of character reflect the highest form of human behavior.
Music and Movement Music and movement is taught each week by a specialist teacher. In an addition to our curriculum which already integrates music and movement as a learning tool, our music specialist uses a variety of methods to introduce preschool children to concepts in rhythm, movement and spatial awareness. The class provides a setting for peer interaction and builds selfconfidence and auditory and memory skills.
We include two music programs in our curriculum, one in the Fall and one in the Spring. Grandparentsâ€™ day is incorporated into the Spring program and is a highlight of our year. Our four year olds also have the added benefit of attending classes with our specialist Physical Education instructor. Exposure to important gross-motor development such as balance, skipping, hopping and hand-eye-coordination, is part of this experience.
Spanish To enhance our culturally rich curriculum, our four year old classes look forward to a special time of instruction each week to an introduction to the Spanish Language. The ageappropriate curriculum consists of basic words and phrases that are used daily, both in the classroom and at home. Lessons are presented in a fun and interactive way using songs, rhymes and topical themes.
Art Art is an integral part of the everyday curriculum at our preschool. Self expression and creativity is encouraged through process art activities. In addition, our four year old classes are taught more advanced art principles by our Art Specialist Teacher. The children work on special projects and are exposed to basic elements of design.
Cultural Arts Special performances serve as an extension of the Cultural Arts program. Performances are presented for students to increase their awareness of the unique characteristics of various cultures. Students consider the many differences in the way other cultures live, work and play. A program designed just for Pisgah has created opportunities for our preschool children to regularly interact with children from other countries.
Service Projects The preschool is involved in three service projects which focus on the family, school and community. Children are encouraged to empathize and show God’s love to those in need by being “His hands and feet”. Operation Christmas Child, Pennies for Patients and serving the homeless have afforded wonderful opportunities for us to grow in Christian service.
Supplementary After School Activities Stay and Play for Half Day On a quarterly basis, you may enroll your two, three or fouryour-old child in the Stay & Play program. An extended day is offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday ending at 2:30 p.m. The children are escorted by their teachers to the Stay & Play teacher’s classroom. Children bring their own lunch and rest mat for resting. The additional time provides for social interaction in a less structured environment than the morning schedule, both in the class and on the playground. Ballet, Playball, and Karate Ballet, Playball, and Karate are offered through independent providers. The children are supervised by one of our staff members. Both activities offer valuable opportunities for grossmotor coordination and social skill development.
mount pisgah CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 9820 Nesbit Ferry Road | Johns Creek, Georgia 30022 | 678-336-3443