Our Primary PROGRAM
Primary classrooms serve children ages three to six in beautiful, quiet, harmonious, sunlit environments carefully designed for children to learn by doing which is necessary for success in their futures.
Springmont's highly trained faculty and specially designed materials maximize the development of academic skills as well as creativity and character development. Beginning in the Primary program, all areas of study are integrated. Children are guided to use their natural powers of discovery to develop meaningful skills in math, reading and handwriting, geography, science, culture, sensory development, the arts and life skills.
Classes are large enough to provide a dynamic social environment, yet the one-to-one or small group lessons allow your child to thrive academically. Teachers intensely follow the interests of each child, presenting carefully designed lessons and materials as the child is ready. All Primary classes have access to adjoining gardens, which allow opportunities to care for the environment as well as exploration of the natural world.
The Practical Life curriculum is designed to foster concentration, coordination, independence, self-control and order. These characteristics play a critical role in subsequent intellectual growth and responsible social interaction. Logical sequence, attention to detail, exactness and purposeful activity cultivate an aptitude for logic, mathematics, science and composition. The children receive satisfaction from mastery of each daily life skill and become confident in their own ability to learn and contribute. Practical Life activities are divided into the following areas:
- Care of Self: Examples include dressing frames and polishing shoes.
- Care of the Environment: Examples include watering plants, polishing silver and sweeping.
- Care of Others: Examples include food preparation and assisting a classmate.
- Grace and Courtesy: Examples include inviting a friend to have snack, declining an invitation and borrowing an item.
The Sensorial materials are designed to isolate and categorize qualities of the environment perceived through the senses. Aristotle said, “There is nothing in the intellect that was not first in the senses.” The senses firmly connect us to our environment, therefore Primary age children master any concept that the hand can. The Primary curriculum is a multi-sensorial approach to learning. The refinement of sensory perception lays a physical and mental foundation for further learning based in reason and judgment. A few examples of Sensorial activities are:
- Botany cabinet of leaf shapes
- Geometry cabinet of plane shapes
- Color matching and grading materials
- Pink Tower, Brown Stair and Red Rods, varying in three, two and one dimension, respectively
The Language curriculum encompasses the whole classroom. While all areas of study are integrated, Springmont classrooms are language-rich environments. The children are given opportunities for discussions, storytelling and naming through curriculum materials such as geometric figures, the continents of the Earth or parts of an insect. The specialized activities in the language curriculum assist in vocabulary development, phonetic progression into reading and development of writing skills and composition. Examples of Language activities are:
- Spoken Language: Sound games, Sandpaper letters, acting out stories, vocabulary exercises
- Written Language: Moveable alphabet, making booklets, writing stories
- Reading: Decoding phonetic words, blends and sight words for mechanical and fluid reading
- Exploring the function of words in sentences as a preparation for grammar: Grammar boxes
The Math curriculum begins with activities to teach sequence, symbol recognition and quantity of the numbers one through 10. The curriculum progresses through the four math operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) and the memorization of tables. The children explore mathematical relationships, such as the squaring and cubing of numbers and fractions, by manipulating concrete materials that are designed to isolate each concept and prepare the mind for abstract mathematical reasoning. Examples of Math activities are:
Quantities and symbols of numbers to ten
Decimal system; four categories
Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing in four categories
Squaring and Cubing of numbers, one to 10
Mastery of math facts in +, -, x
The Cultural curriculum, which includes art, music, science and geography, are integrated into the Primary child’s day. Through exploring the natural world, the children begin to develop an understanding and appreciation of the physical and cultural nature of the Earth and its diverse populations. Examples of Cultural activities are:
- Political maps of all continents
- Flags of the world
- Experiencing art and music from around the world
- Cooking food and having cultural celebrations from around the world
At the Primary level, world language is integrated into the areas of cultural study, music and spoken language. The children are sensorial learners and are in the Sensitive Period for language; therefore, many languages are spoken and sung in the classroom and integrated in other natural ways. This is done by native and non-native speakers. The children have the benefit of having the lessons connect to other areas of study as well as the opportunity to develop their ears for the nuances of language. This approach does not hinder development in other areas of the curriculum, but prepares the child for further refined study in foreign languages after he/she is reading and writing in his/her native tongue. Additionally, Spanish is included in the curriculum, emphasizing vocabulary, pronunciation and a love of language.
Movement is basic to learning so recess is a daily occurance for Primary students. The aim is to promote the idea of a healthy body, enabling students to develop their fitness, physical skill and body awareness. We aspire to cultivate a spirit of sportsmanship and enjoyment in all physical activity.