Kindy is a journey of discovery and exploration as boys learn about their new school, friends, teachers and learning experiences.
Kindy students learn to play together, get to know who they are and how they belong to a group called Kindy. Boys make sense of their new environment through intentional play experiences which enable them to learn more about who they are.
Kindy boys know their names and the names of their friends – teachers become a new significant other and students value being part of a community. They learn to introduce themselves and use eye contact when speaking to each other and their teachers.
Boys are also screened in speech and occupational therapy which enables teachers to understand the whole child and identify individual needs early.
Learning is very difficult to measure with a number or a score, but the growth that happens at this time in the social and emotional domain of learning is immense and a wonderful thing to witness throughout the year. Persistence with a task, creativity and the ability to solve problems are at the heart of learning; skills which will remain with a boy for life.
Pre Primary is the first year of compulsory school. The boys feel like they know all about the Early Years- they are not the littlest anymore.
Their focus becomes more on making friends and they begin to see a great significance in these interactions. They join in play together and begin to direct and make up scenarios to suit their play. Writing to convey a message becomes important to them as they experiment with letters and making sentences.
They join in more with the whole College community and begin attending more specialist classes. In Kindy, Music and Physical Education were the focus, in Pre Primary Art, Library, STEM and Science are added.
Boys move from the Kindy and Pre Primary playground to the Year 1-3 play spaces in Year 1. These larger play areas cater for growing boys and their move to playing team-based sports, continuing to develop their gross motor skills in friendly competition during break times.
Boys need to move. Alongside break times, Year 1 students are given many movement breaks during the day. They continue to grow and develop in the cognitive domains of learning with numeracy and literacy learning embedded in all subject areas. A focus on learning by doing with hands-on materials facilitates the multi–sensory approach, making many and varied connections in their brains to cement learning.
Year 2 is a time of growth with boys maturing and becoming more socially aware of classmates and others in their community. Spiritually, Jesus becomes an important part of a boy’s development and he comes to know what it means to be a part of a Catholic community.
Learning in all domains continues to flourish and boys become interested in conveying messages in writing explaining how they feel or what they imagine. Reading begins to shift from learning to read to reading to learn as students discover how to comprehend text more deeply. Play remains at the heart of all they do and inquiry approaches facilitate this type of learning. Questions are posed in ways to enable deep thinking, promote critical thinking and problem solving.
Year 3 is the transition year of the Early Years and the young boy who began in Kindy now feels like a leader in the Early Years setting. He has grown a great deal since he first came into the College. He is autonomous and creative. Eager to learn and ready to help.
Service Learning becomes more meaningful and he desires to do something for someone else. He is more responsible and ventures out into other areas of the playground to explore and play with his peers creating play spaces that challenge his imagination or participating in more competitive games due to his increased skills.
Boys participate more in competitive sport against each other and other schools. They are given more opportunities to be part of literacy and numeracy competitions and may take up a chess challenge. They love to problem solve and many of the clubs on offer such as STEM, writing and technology are visited by a Year 3 boy.
They have spent the past five years with the same group of boys and are getting ready to transition into Year 4 where they will meet new friends and be in three different classes.
The Early Years may be over but never forgotten as it has set strong foundations for these young boys, developing values and attitudes which will continue to grow and strengthen as they progress through their Aquinas College learning journey.