Our school offers a full immersion program to our students. Throughout our preschool program (from toddlers through kindergarten) the children have both a French and English speaking teacher with them throughout the day. Thus, dual language development takes place in both languages, in a natural manner, through the medium of enjoyable, age-appropriate activities and interaction with others. The bilingual academic program then continues in our primary school with a half day in English and a half day in French.
Toddler and Nursery program – a first introduction to school
Our Toddler program welcomes children from the age of 2. This is often a child’s first experience away from his/her parents, and we aim to make it a happy one in which the children develop a love of learning, find pleasure in playing with children from a variety of cultures and experience enjoyment in discovery and exploration. We remember that “play is the work of children” and offer developmentally appropriate activities for this young age.
The toddler program is 5 mornings a week, with the option of staying a full day until 3:45 p.m. every day except Wednesday which is a half day. The class has both an English and French speaking teacher as well as an assistant, enabling the children to be fully immersed in a bilingual environment. The toddler class is a play-based program including arts and crafts, sensorial activities, opportunities for free play, story time, snack, music and movement, and psychomotor sessions with a psychomotor educator. Children play outdoors in the nearby Champs de Mars.
Children in the Nursery class continue to learn in a small, nurturing environment. At this age, three year olds begin socializing, reasoning and developing concepts of their bodies, time and space. Central to the program is play, a child’s way of learning by doing to explore his/her senses and the world around him/her.
Underlying our play-based philosophy is a carefully thought out program of theme-based activities which include language development, (pre)maths, and arts-and- crafts activities, opportunities for manipulation and sensorial experiences, story time, singing, and outdoor recreation in a nearby play area. They have specialist teachers for music and computer, as well as a psychomotor educator teaching a weekly gym class.
Nursery children have the choice between a half day or full day program (ending at 3:00 p.m.) and need to be fully toilet trained. All students have no school on Wednesday afternoon.
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten
Children at the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten level continue their learning in a supportive classroom setting which puts an emphasis on building self-confidence and self-esteem in a positive learning environment.
Pre-Kindergarten is a year of great growth and change as the children’s encounters in play, artistic expression and construction begin to fuse with the world of symbols: letters, numbers, and words. At this level, students begin a two year phonetically based pre-reading program in their mother tongue or stronger language (English or French) that will then be continued in Kindergarten.
The objectives in the Kindergarten class build on those established in Pre-Kindergarten and begin to add elements of an academic program (the development of oral and written language as well as mathematics) in preparation for primary school. The reading program that they have started in Pre-Kindergarten is continued this year. By the end of the kindergarten year, children are generally reading in their mother tongue, thus allowing them to start reading in the second language in Grade 1 when they will study a half day in French and a half day in English.
As in the previous levels, these classes continue to follow our philosophy of immersion by having both a French and English speaking teacher for their various theme-based activities throughout the day.
The Pre-Kindergarten children stay all day until 3:30 p.m. while Kindergarten children are dismissed at 4:00 p.m. All students have a half day on Wednesday.
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