The Kindergarten Program at Oak Learners
Kindergarten students at Oak Learners spend their days creatively exploring literacy, numeracy, science and the Arts. Children through a natural and inquiry-based program inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach.
Our Kindergarten program follows as skill-based curriculum through a cross-curricular andarts-based approach with a unique focus on outdoor education. Spending time in our community and in nature provides out students with unique opportunities to engage in a meaningful way with their environment and their peers.
Daily programming for Kindergarten students at Oak Learners includes blocks of time devoted to Core Skill Development (ie. Literacy and Math), Outdoor Education (ie. Ecology and gross motor development), and STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math). Monthly theme-based unit guide the learning for the students and provide a foundation for project-based learning and real-world application of learning skills.
6:1 ratio in all classes, allowing for personalized and enriched learning opportunities.
At least 2hrs every day is spent learning outside in our community and natural surroundings.
Hands-on learning and site-based learning.
Enhanced learning through the Arts, including daily dance, music, movement, art and creative expression.
Personalized instruction to support all learners, including Gifted, LD an Mental Health needs.
Integrated learning through Science, Technology, Engineer, Arts and Math.
Reading and Writing are taught in an integrated and immersive program, including building phonological awareness and phonics skills. Writing skills are built through fine motor development and literature appreciation through storytelling.
Students in the Kindergarten Program at Oak Learners will:
*Develop phonetic awareness with a focus on letter sounds
*Improve letter recognition in order to identify beginning, middle and end sounds in common and nonsense words
*Isolate sound combinations
*Learn in an environment which promotes re-telling stories and finding meaning in written text
*Use descriptive language to explain, explore and extend”
The Kindergarten program at Oak Learners is delivered by teachers who are passionate about experiential learning and the Reggio Emelia philosophy. We begin with the tenet that children are curious and capable and we design learning experiences for them that enrich their understanding of the world around them. Provocations are set up to provide co-learning, child-guided learning experiences.
Oak Learners strives to expand the 4 walls of a classroom, and encourages students to find patterns and number representation all around them. Our goal is to develop mathematical skills that can be used in meaningful ways through play and daily living.
Students in the Kindergarten Program at Oak Learners will:
*Count in order from 1-50
*Sequence, sort and classify varying materials
*Understanding 1:1 correspondence to determine quantity
*Represent numbers in different ways (e.g., tallies, numbers, graphs)
*Understand two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes
*Identify and create patterns
*Measure length, weight and capacity, temperature, time and money
*Complete simple number operations
*Use spatial relations, directions and maps
The teachers will focus on manipulatives and loose parts provided as a way to encourage natural learning experiences. Teachers will introduce mathematics as a fun and interactive notion. The goal is for the children to comprehend the application of mathematics in real life scenarios so that they can use their knowledge to make decisions on the strategies they can use. Provocations will be set up to be inviting and play based. Matching numbers to sets of objects is a large element of the mathematics curriculum as it is a bridge to other skills such as counting and identifying patterns.
S.T.E.M *Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
The STEM program focuses on engaging all of our sense. The children will be collecting and organizing information through sorting, comparing and identification. The children can be introduced to 21st century sciences and technological developments. The goal is to engage them in theories that will be developed in later years of schooling.
Technology is the future and although it cannot fully predicted what the employment opportunities or challenges that our students will face in the years to come, we can certainly prepare them to ask questions, engage in design challenges and think like innovators through an integrated approach. The most important skills that students will learn through engaging in STEM activities at Oak Learners are problem-solving, communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. Through the encouragement to be comfortable with skills the children will need in upper years, kindergarten STEM is the foundational work, and instills confidence.
Oak Learners encourages education in a fun and creative way. Exposure to sensory experiments not only improve dexterity and cognitive development but also ignite an excitement towards the sciences and maths aspects of school that the children will eventually be more involved with.
We believe that Arts Education plays a very important role in educating young learners. We make sure to integrate Art, Music, Drama and Dance throughout our days, throughout every subject area. The Arts brings learning to life and provides a context for deep emotional and social learning.
In Visual Arts, students will gain skills in each of the five elements of art: line, colour, shape, form and texture and use these skills to create beautiful and functional art pieces that express creativity and individuality. In the Kindergarten program at Oak Learners, Eco Art and Digital art are also important components, where students will learn skills in art such as the different forms of it. This can include sculpting, collaging, painting, and uses the environment as a source of art supplies. In Drama, students will work collaboratively to learn skills in performance and improvisation, with the incorporation of dance routines and techniques. In Music, students will learn theory and composition through consistent enjoyment of songs that include layers and different sound textures.
In the Kindergarten program, the students are immersed into the Arts in a variety of ways. Students are provided with diverse instructions that allow them to use their creativity and become comfortable with their own ideas. Oak Learners urges the students to learn a variety of art forms and techniques and allows the students to be expressive in whatever way they would like.
Outdoor Education is the centre of everything we do at Oak Leaners. Research has demonstrated that interacting with nature on a consistent basis is highly beneficial for the mental health and well-being of children and teenagers. In particular, the World Health Organization has found that children raised with exposure to green spaces are 55% less likely to develop mental health concerns, such as stress-related illnesses. Also, children have demonstrated improved concentration, increased productivity, better behaviour and more positive relationships amongst their peer group when frequently learning in an outdoor environment.
Utilizing the outdoor classroom as the “third teacher”, students at Oak Learners have the opportunity develop skills in stewardship, navigation, observation and stewardship. Skills in other subject areas are not learned in isolation; rather, students see how they are used in the community to ask questions and devise plans to solve real-world problems.
All subject areas can be taught in an outdoor environment; however, the learning involves interaction with the outdoors and using our natural world as an opportunity for deeper understanding. Through Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and the Arts, students gain knowledge about their role as stewards and take responsibility for their role in preserving their environment. In particular, students are given many opportunities to see ‘treasures’ and ‘troubles’ in their community and work towards devising solutions.
Student Project Showcase
Read about how our students hatched Ducklings in the spring of 2018 as part of an amazing Inquiry-based unit on animal life cycles and eco-systems. CLICK HERE for the whole story!
Now Accepting Applications
We are currently accepting students to our Full-Time and Part-Time Programs for the 2021-2022 school year.