Entering Preschool from age 2 to 4 is an exciting milestone in a child's life. At this age kids are active and innately curious about learning how the world works, as they are guided to experience a wide variety of classes that expose them to the world. Learning is holistic and it happens everywhere. Kids expand their range of knowledge, increase their social emotional awareness and develop their language abilities with nature inspired, play based activities.
Routinely, the children go out in the morning to learn and appreciate the abundance of nature around them. Collecting various bits of flowers, leaves, and other plants to bring back to the classroom, where they can use them to make craft and art projects. At this time, children participate in perma-culture study where they learn which and why plants grow well in this environment. They also learn which insects and animals are harmful to our plants and which help them grow better.
In Pre-K Numbers-classes, we teach kids basic numbers. Kids practise mathematical thinking by doing meaningful classroom activities, playing games and interacting with nature. Kids are constantly exposed to a wide range of shapes and materials that nature can offer. In Pre-K Number classes we are counting flowers, seeds and animals; organizing and comparing objects in nature.
In Letters-class, we engage kids in story telling to develop their interest early in reading and also touch the very basics of facts about the world around us. We do this by taking them to nature and practicing the sounds of various animals and plants that really excite them. We also provide our students with storytime every day to help foster an interest in reading and listening. When they’re ready, our kids will start to learn phonics through interactions with the abundant nature around the school.
Gross motor skills
Gross motor skills are abilities that let us do tasks involving large muscle groups, such as those in our torso, legs, and arms. They involve whole-body movements. We use gross motor skills for all sorts of physical activities such as climbing obstacles, picking and moving produce from permaculture, sports in the field, and swimming.
Fine motor skills
In Fine Motor Skills we teach kids how to develop fine articulation in their hands and fingers by manipulating small objects. This includes using grains of rice to make art projects, chalk to draw on surfaces, and various similar projects. It enables the kids to gain the ability to manipulate their environment with ease, so that it’d be easier for them to learn more complex skills.
Kindness class (Ages 2-5)
The kindness materials that we have developed are built on the foundation laid out in Marshall Rosenburg’s Nonviolent Communication. In this class we cover asking for consent, how to share, how to set your own and see others boundaries, learning how to make friends, and we play games to help students know every child and teacher by name. It is these skills that allow students to thrive and create a safe and comfortable environment for themselves and others.
Kids continue the Early years routines with a growing focus on skills that prepare them for future Primary school English language and math concepts.
Kids learn number names and how to write numbers, beginning with 1-10. Counting happens first with physical objects, then conceptually. Kids are counting forwards and backwards, especially in their head. Kids learn that numbers can be compared: two or more numbers can have a more-than, less-than, or same as-number relationship.
Language arts focuses on alphabetical knowledge of individual letters names, sounds and shapes. Kids learn what each letter looks like, what they sound like and how to blend the individual sounds together to make words. Kids build a foundation for reading and writing through play-based activities inspired by nature.
At Empathy School we follow the science of learning and because of this the class levels are determined by ability, not by age. The curriculum in all levels is designed to develop a range of core skills with increasing complexity. The Range of core skills are influenced by Montessori, international curriculums and our partners in the USA. Primary kids go independently to daily classes and get more autonomy following their own personal interests.
In Design for Change, students learn about the larger community beyond their own home and family. They explore how to develop projects to improve the lives of others.
English language classes enable kids to formulate and develop their communicative competences through reading, writing, listening, speaking and linguistic knowledge (pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar). Students are leveled by ability, not by age.
Kids learn the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make. Identify "the," and "is" and other simple words by sight, while gradually building upon a basic vocabulary. Kids acquire new spelling rules that focus on phonics and learning phonemes used in the English language. Students start writing with full sentences and create a variety of different kinds of texts.
Adding more complicated sounds and learning to decode or "sound out" unfamiliar words. Kids read ability-appropriate books with fluency and can identify a story's beginning, middle, and end. Kids use capital letters with periods and question marks to form short narratives. In level 2 kids start combining simple sentences to write different texts for different audiences and purposes.
By Level 3, students become fluent readers and writers. They may gravitate toward certain genres of books and begin writing their own stories, complete with correct capitalization and punctuation. Correct spelling is emphasized and reinforced through spelling tests. Independent reading is encouraged both in school and for homework.
Level 4 reading builds upon students' vocabulary. They learn how to find information in dictionaries and other reference books. Fiction and non-fiction books are longer and more complex. Students write detailed essays and stories that flow logically and have a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Now, they are adding paragraphs or chapters to transition between ideas.
Level 5 reading and writing build upon existing skills. Children explore various types and genres of poetry and stories. They learn synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms, and expand their vocabulary. Level 5 students show their understanding of a book's themes by writing a book report.
Readers and writers in Level 6 dig deeper into stories, analyzing the plot along with key characters and their motives, while further building their own vocabularies. They take a more organized approach to writing, starting with an outline, and moving on to drafting, revising, and completing edits to create a finished piece. Students in level 6 tackle research papers and reports, and may even give oral presentations on various topics.
Explore the mathematics that exists all around us, in nature. Students are leveled by ability, not by age
In level 1 children learn to recognize numerals and count forwards and backwards to 100, add and subtract numbers to 20 and are introduced to the idea of multiplying and dividing. Kids compare numbers or groups of objects using "more than," "less than," or "equal to." Kids start speaking the language of mathematics using mathematical symbols and creating connections between numbers and shapes.
Kids demonstrate an understanding of numbers and make connections to the way numbers are used in everyday life. Students learn to recognize numerals up to 100 and above. They count by twos, fives and 10s and compute addition and subtraction facts accurately. Kids start learning multiplication and division by grouping numbers, making arrays and sharing to equal groups. In level 2, we identify simple shapes and properties of squares, triangles, and circles and investigate the properties and characteristics of two and three dimensional geometric shapes.
In Level 3 students become adept at one and two-digit addition and subtraction and learn a variety of methods for solving mathematical problems. Kids acquire more advanced skills in mental math and work to master the multiplication tables, commit them to memory and use multiplication and division to solve problems. Geometrical concepts broaden from recognizing and naming shapes to properties of shapes.
Children learn more advanced skills in mental math, but they will also learn how to explain the steps they used to solve a problem. In Level 4, math instruction focuses on number theory and systems, algebraic thinking, geometrical figures and objects, measurement of length, weight, capacity, time, and temperature, and data analysis and probability.
In Level 5 students have a strong handle on whole numbers and place value. Mental math becomes more important and kids will be building their abilities to approach math problems from a variety of angles and using a variety of mathematical methods to solve problems.
Nature classes teach kids how to observe, think and appreciate nature and the world around them. Kids go on nature walks, investigate, do experiments and explore to experience nature with all senses. We get our hands and feet dirty learning how nature works. We go out and look at nature with magnifying glasses, investigate plants and animals in their natural environment. Interacting with the natural world helps kids to realize that they are a part of nature and grow appreciation but also show how we have on our surroundings.
The materials that we have developed for social-emotional classes are built on the foundation laid out in Marshall Rosenburg’s Nonviolent Communication.
The kindness. In this class we cover asking for consent, how to share, how to set your own and see others boundaries, learning how to make friends, and we play games to help students know every child and teacher by name. It is these skills that allow students to thrive and create a safe and comfortable environment for themselves and others.
In empathy class kids learn how to recognize,name and regulate emotions. Children develop knowledge, self-awareness and personal well-being to build the emotional competencies that help them thrive in both academics and life. Kids get tools to develop positive relationships and responsible choices and most importantly create empathy and understand the viewpoints of others.
Following in the footsteps of Empathy classes; peace making helps kids to understand the importance of peacemaking skills in their daily lives. Kids start to realize the causes of conflict from different points of views and provide tools to resolve conflict peacefully. Modeling appropriate behavior, and giving plenty of social interaction to practice and develop their skills prepares them for successful relationships
Students are placed by ability, not by age. Science lessons aim to deepen the conceptual knowledge of Nature classes by bringing nature literally under the microscope.
In Level 1 science, children learn about the basics regarding the natural world. They discuss the seasons and the weather changes they bring, along with parts of the human body. They learn more about their world through experiments and first-hand exploration, maybe growing their own plants from seeds or caring for a classroom pet.
In Level 2 science, children learn more about the patterns surrounding us in the natural world, which are broken down into three general categories:
They also learn about the scientific process and make and record their own observations about their environment.
In Level 3 science, students dive deeper into lessons about the earth and the continents. They study how plants spread their seeds to create more plants and may grow plants in school or help care for a school garden.
Scientific experiments allow Level 4 students to prove or disprove a hypothesis. They imagine the great beyond, learning about the solar system, the sun, and the moon.
Science in Level 5 inspires students to think big, covering topics like electricity, energy, and matter. Students learn about different organisms and how to classify them.
Level 6 science includes lessons on the human body and its systems, basic biology and chemistry, and timely topics like humans' impact on the environment. Students continue learning about the planet, weather, land, and oceans.
Movement classes provide cognitive content and instructions designed to develop motor skills, knowledge, and behaviors for physical activity and physical fitness. Movement classes are tangible, they engage fitness through fun and give participants the opportunity to practice a wide variety of skills from juggling to team games to swimming – thus ensuring that there is something for everybody. Kids feel the joy of moving in a safe environment in a non-competitive way.
Art classes teach kids how to be creative through specific artistic skills and techniques. Kids have chances to learn about painting, drawing, woodcarving, metallurgy, ceramics and music; with opportunities to follow your own artistic heart. Kids learn how to blend colors, handle clay and how to safely use proper tools while working with wood and metals. Art is an integrated part of our curriculum and it is woven into other subjects through projects or individual lessons.