Great Falls Village Green Day School offers a variety of
Preschool and Kindergarten
classes, accommodating students of various developmental and chronological ages.
Our preschool classes include programs for 2 ½ - 3 year olds, 3 year olds, and 4 year olds. The major focus of each classroom is based upon the CoreKnowledge sequential learning curriculum. The program also includes imaginative play and role-play, music, library, art, and individual activities designed by our experienced teaching staff and originating from the children themselves through their individual needs and creativity.
In Village Green's Kindergarten programs, students progress at their own speed with individual attention from highly trained teachers. Each child moves onto the next educational level when he or she is ready. Traditional academic subjects (reading, composition, language, handwriting, mathematics, social studies, geography, science, foreign language, and computer/Promethean 'smart' board use (Kindergarten programs) are introduced using developmentally appropriate, intentionally designed lessons and experiences. We acknowledge and incorporate the Virginia State SOL requirements for Kindergarten.
Junior Kindergarten, a half-day program, is a developmental program emphasizing the social, physical and academic skills that will ensure educational success. Applicants for Junior Kindergarten must be 4 years 9 months old by September 30 to be considered for placement. New students to Village Green must meet the Kindergarten criteria as stated below.
Our Traditional Kindergarten is a full-day program and has a low teacher/pupil ratio allowing our students to receive a great deal of individual attention. Children must be 5 years old by September 30th to apply. Children new to Village Green Day School are accepted to our Kindergarten Programs after meeting certain criteria including previous school assessments and recommendation, classroom visit, and a Gesell Developmental screening test, if considered necessary by the Head of School.
Core Knowledge Curriculum
Our dynamic and challenging curriculum is designed to integrate the essential elements of various models of early learning. It is a comprehensive, sequential and scaffolded program of learning from preschool through K-1. Montessori, Piaget, Gesell, Erikson, and other traditional preschool practices all influence our teaching and assessment methods. We embrace the guidelines of Core Knowledge Curriculum, along with current best practices.
The Core Knowledge Curriculum is based on the ideas presented by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. in his well-known books Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, and The Schools We Need,Why We Don’t Have Them, and further developed by the Core Knowledge Foundation he established in 1986. Cultural literacy is the familiarity with the traditions and knowledge commonly shared by educated citizens in a society. The Core curriculum includes language, vocabulary and common sayings; stories, folk and fairy tales, nursery rhymes and poetry; music and artwork. These components are part of a “culture” and without familiarity with those elements, it is difficult to understand and comprehend meaning. Village Green Day School at Great Falls is a Core Knowledge Visitation School. In order to achieve Visitation School status, our school went through a rigorous training and observation process in 2007; we continue to maintain the designation through annual review and renewal.
The Preschool Curriculum is supplemented by a number of supporting programs: Letterland, Handwriting Without Tears, Science All Around, 15 Green and the use of Promethium Boards in our Kindergarten programs.
Village Green teachers follow the balanced objectives of the curriculum guidelines to ensure that all skill areas within each age group are introduced, practiced, and mastered. Through this method a sequential learning pattern develops; a pattern that is built on year by year. Our teachers meet together, talk together, plan together and work together. A connected curriculum permeates throughout the whole school and provides each child with an evenly balanced education and prepares a solid foundation upon which to build new knowledge. Children are encouraged to learn through discovery and play, using their innate creativity and imagination to make knowledge their own. Our goal is to provide an environment where the joy of learning inspires our students to become lifelong learners.
For in depth information about Core Knowledge, click here.
Core Knowledge Domains:
Autonomy & Social Skills~Reading & Storytelling
Mathematical Reasoning~Movement~Work Habits
Emerging Literacy~Scientific Reasoning
Music & Fine Arts~Oral Language~Orientation in Time/Space
Fine Art Specials
Children enrolled in our preschool program spend time in Specials, that enrich their learning and social development at Village Green. Each of these classes is either taught by a specialist or a teacher who has been trained in that area of expertise.
In our Art Program, children are introduced to works of art from prehistory to contemporary and experience a wide range of activities and media in art class. In addition to drawing, painting and collage, they are introduced to experiences such as cave painting, making Persian tile patterns, the creation of mobiles and stabiles, sculpture and architectural design construction. Children learn about and are encouraged to create in the style of using a variety of materials and techniques. Emphasis is on the creative process rather than the product so the children enjoy the whole experience. Discovery and exploration of materials allows children to learn about color using water colors, oils and chalk pastels. Wood, wire, string, and clay are transformed into art works. While creating their masterpieces, children build fine motor skills and self-confidence as they develop an esthetic sense.
Music is such an important part of developing the young mind. Our Music Program incorporates a variety of different instruments, songs, and movements to excite and engage the children. Each week the students learn about sounds and songs related to a given theme. Our Music Specialist also prepares the preschool children for musical performances where children learn songs with coordinating hand movements, and perform on risers for their families and friends.
Assessments are ongoing within the classroom and our experienced teachers adjust their lessons at the whole group level, and at the individual level, based on the knowledge they gain by working with the children. Teachers contact parents throughout the year if they have concerns about how a given child is progressing towards targeted skills.
Three times a year, in November, January, and June, the teachers hold a conference with the parents to communicate a summary of how the child is progressing. During the January conference, the teacher will also recommend a developmentally appropriate program for the child for the following year.
VGDS Student Promise
I come to school proud to be,
A member of the Village Green Family
Thoughtful and caring, helpful and sharing
Patient, respectful, and kind