Our Prekindergarten Program, for children in Nursery, Prekindergarten 1 and Prekindergarten 2, offers our young learners a rich and comprehensive curriculum and engaging learning experience. Our curriculum includes English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Visual and Performing Arts, Music, Modern Languages, and Physical and Health Education. Equally important is the social and emotional development of our students, which is an integral part of teaching and learning at NYA.
The way in which we teach and children learn is as important as what we teach and how children learn. In Prekindergarten, our pedagogy emphasizes project-based teaching and learning. We organize our curriculum into interdisciplinary units of study that integrate multiple subject areas, thereby enriching the learning experience for our students. Through project work, children actively investigate their interests, discover new ideas and develop their own theories. In keeping with our mission and values, teachers encourage and support each child’s unique style of learning, interests and talents.
In Prekindergarten, children learn to manage emotions and regulate their behavior. They learn to control impulses, tolerate frustration, follow behavior guidelines, cope with strong emotions and delay gratification. In our nurturing and supportive environment, teachers gently guide children and help them develop positive social skills. They learn to share, wait for their turn, express empathy, show kindness and respect others.
Prekindergarten students learn to establish and sustain positive relations with peers and adults. They learn to engage in increasingly complex social interaction, read and interpret emotional cues and respond appropriately. Students also learn to participate cooperatively and constructively in group situations.
English Language Arts
Students learn to understand and use language to communicate their thoughts, ideas, needs and feelings. They develop listening skills and learn to listen and understand increasingly complex language. Students expand their vocabularies as they learn to name and describe characteristics of familiar people, objects and animals. They learn to respond appropriately to statements and questions, and form sentences properly in spoken language. Our teachers also help students speak clearly and pronounce words correctly.
Students enjoy learning to read a variety of authentic picture books and retell the stories. From our wide selection of excellent children’s literature, students can explore and develop varied interests and learn to enjoy reading.
Learning to tell simple stories about objects, events and imaginary characters is an important part of the curriculum. As children develop this skill, they include a logical order of events and major details in their stories.
Learning to engage in back-and-forth exchanges is one of the essential skills young children need to develop. We also teach them the social rules of communicating, such as being polite, speaking clearly and turn taking.
Students learn letter sounds and the names of the letters. If they are developmentally ready, they learn to write letters too.
During the course of the Prekindergarten years, students develop basic mathematical knowledge and skills. They learn number concepts, spatial relationships and shapes. We help our young learners develop an understanding of comparisons, measuring and patterns.
They learn to count and identify beginning numbers and connect them with their quantities. They learn directions related to proximity, and use and respond to positional words indicating location, direction and distance. Students learn basic shapes, such as circle and square. They also learn to describe basic two- and three-dimensional shapes.
Students learn to compare and order small sets of objects according to size, length, weight, area and volume. They also learn about measuring by using multiples of the same unit to compare differences. Initially, students learn to copy simple patterns. Then they learn to recognize and describe them. As students progress in their mathematical understanding, our teachers help them to use simple strategies to solve mathematical problems.
Students learn about the characteristics of animals and plants, and the basic physical properties of objects and materials. They also teach them the basics about our environment and how to care for it.
In Social Studies, students learn about themselves in terms of age, gender and physical traits. They also learn about other people, their characteristics and how they live. They learn about different types of families, and the different roles people play in families, school and the larger community in which they live.
Visual and Performing Arts
We encourage our young students to express themselves creatively through visual art, dramatic play, dance and movement. Students also participate in performances and plays. Visual arts activities include painting, drawing, making collages, modeling, sculpting, building and weaving. Visual arts activities improve children’s self-esteem and original thinking skills. Movement and dance facilitates expression of emotions and develops physical awareness and capabilities. Students develop language and literacy skills, self-awareness, emotional understanding, and problem-solving skills through participation in dramatic play and performances.
Students learn to appreciate different kinds of music and enjoy different forms of musical expressions. They listen to music, and learn to sing a variety of songs and move to music. We teach our Prekindergarten students to use musical instruments, such as the shaker, tambourine, rhythm stick and drum.
Modern Languages – French and Spanish
We introduce children to French or Spanish language and culture to help them develop basic skills in the language and understanding of the culture. Prekindergarten students develop a beginner’s vocabulary, and learn to understand basic instructions and questions regarding daily life.
Physical and Health Education
Students develop gross-motor and fine-motor skills. They learn balance, coordination and traveling skills, such as running, hopping, climbing and jumping. We also provide ample time for children to play freely in our Imagination Playground. During outdoor playtime, they get physical exercise and develop their imaginary and social skills as they play together. We also teach our students about healthy eating and living.