The Kindergarten curriculum is based on age-specific learning outcomes. Sensitive and appreciative teachers create a caring, secure space for little ones in “big school” for the first time. A space where multiple senses are sparked, investigations triggered into themes and topics, questions and discoveries welcomed with delight. Together, children and teachers reflect on the meaning of each activity and explore it thoroughly; in doing so, every child makes the experience authentic and the learning personal. Teachers attempt to understand the social and cultural contexts to which children belong, which gives clues to their emotional, cognitive and social needs. This helps teachers create a truly unique multicultural learning environment.
STS promotes an active partnership between the school and the parent community.
The Kindergarten Programme
The STS Kindergarten offers the following groups –
- K2 (UKG)
Accelerated K2 (UKG) if required, for children who are in K2 but are yet to mature to Grade 1 requirements.
Curricular Practices in Kindergarten
The balanced approach of the Kindergarten curriculum is reflected in the rhythm set by the daily activities built around the following practices, which set a framework for the overall development needs of this age group. Teachers are also observers, as they document the students’ progress at work and play.
- Learning Centers: Many developmental and foundational skills are acquired here through observations in nature, construction (building blocks, clay), pretend play, reading and reuse-and-recycle centers. Children can learn and explore at their own pace. Teachers act as observers, as they document the students’ progress at work and play.
- Teacher-Led instruction: While the class is at work in the learning centres, one of the two teachers in the class works in rotation with a small group of students on different skill areas.
- Circle Time or Carpet Time: Skills of social interaction, listening, conversing, feeling, thinking, empathy and patience are learnt by sharing ideas and experiences with each other during Circle Time which is a thought provoking period of reflection and learning.
- K1 (LKG) Read-aloud classes and well-stocked class libraries introduce children to reading from the first day of school. Students learn how to handle books, look at illustrations, create their own stories, and begin the process of reading.
- K2 (UKG) More focus on the children’s natural curiosity towards books and illustrations. They begin to exhibit reading-like behavior as they reconstruct familiar stories. Towards the end of K2 (UKG), the children are able to read familiar text, labels, captions etc.
By age 4, our kindergarteners start reading and by the end of age 5 they are able to read three to four letter words and sentences.
- Language: The language programme at the Kindergarten is an exciting blend of phonics and the whole language approach. Children work and play with words and objects to develop and improve speaking and language skills. The success of this unique programme reflects in the Kindergarteners’ confident communication skills and their ability to read fluently and write with confidence.
- Math: Children explore numbers through concrete hands-on activities, which enable them to understand quantities and operations. Through counting games, number rhymes, puzzles, challenges, and other interesting activities, children acquire a firm understanding and a love for math.
- Science, Discovery and Explorations: Children at this age demonstrate a keen interest in exploring and discovering the world around them. The curriculum provides loaded stimuli from the immediate environment to allow observation, investigation, exploration, questioning and documentation of the children’s unique discoveries in many ways.
- Sand and Water: Soothing play materials that improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, these also kick start the imagination and facilitate group activity. Sand play is a catalyst for developing concepts, constructing language, and promoting social skills. It gives children a chance to observe science concepts like wet and dry, volume, pouring and sifting, and other cause and effect phenomena in a hands-on way.
- Cooking and Baking: These and other work skills help children experience the satisfaction of everyday tasks, and also absorb a multitude of math, science and language skills.
- Gardening and Working with Nature: To develop sensitivity to the environment, observational skills and taking responsibility through acts of caring and nurturing.
- Clay Work and Pottery: To develop fine motor skills and creative expression.
- Block Play: To nurture creative thinking and enable articulation of ideas.
- Dramatic / Symbolic Play: Giving the child a chance to enter a world of fantasy, as well as express a view of the world as she sees it.
- Art and Craft: Integral to the way children learn, and how they document their inner worlds and outer experiences, and a great way to connect to the child.
- Music and Movement: Children engage in creative dance movements, learn to play simple musical instruments and to sing.
- Theatre, Storytelling and Puppetry: Used to develop the child’s social, emotional and communication skills. A useful tool during thematic teaching.
- Community Connections: The curriculum facilitates regular interactions with the community. Parent and grandparent volunteers accompany children on field trips and help many a theme or project come alive with their visits, inputs and experiences.
- Physical Education, Games, and Movement: Includes swings, slides, balancing beams, rope ladders, obstacles etc. Children are guided by trained professionals to develop coordination, teamwork, independence and confidence.
- Excursions and Field Trips: Children visit surrounding farms, interact with local communities and glimpse their culture and lifestyles. These excursions also help widen knowledge of the environment, besides expanding observational skills.