3K - Kindergarten: The WCDS Difference
The paramount goal of our Early Education program is to ensure each child’s beginning school experience is full of wonderment, joy, purpose, and meaning. The instructional goals revolve around a developmentally appropriate program that is flexible, personalized, and integrated into the whole school curriculum. The sequential program is geared to each child’s total development: physical, emotional, social, character, and academic. Creative art, music and world languages supplement this development, and a structured physical education program assists with the development of gross motor skills. The multi-centered classrooms feature both open-ended and self correcting materials within an organized environment. A typical day includes whole group, small group, and individualized instruction as well as independent work. Planned interaction of teachers and students allows each child to perform at her own level and pace. Complete potty training is required for our younger classes. All classes meet from 8:00-2:45 Monday through Friday. Only the 3K class offers a 3 or 5 day option.
Three-Year-Old Class (3K)
Creative, hands-on activities allow children to learn through experimentation and exploration in this curriculum. The HighReach Learning philosophy underpins the basic 3K, 4K, and Pre-Kindergarten curriculums and guides the lesson where children are exposed to the basic concepts and skill-building of counting, recognizing shapes and colors, opposites, positional relationships and use of scissors, crayons, markers, play dough, and paint. A monthly theme offers the opportunity to integrate basic concepts and skills by making learning meaningful and fun. Enrichment activities are used to reinforce the children’s discoveries and to encourage them to share their new knowledge with their parents. Much of the three-year-old (3K) curriculum involves songs and fingerplays that reinforce socialization and communication skills. These skills, as well as self-esteem building, are the central focus of all activities. As with all classes, Spanish, music, Kindermusik, library, and physical education supplement the curriculum. Field trips vary from year to year, but we view these outings as important and an integral part of exploring and learning. Annual favorites in the past have been the pumpkin patch, strawberry farm and the dairy farm.
Four-Year-Old Class (4K)
A four year old is energetic, curious and imaginative! The 4K curriculum “ignites wonder” by providing theme-based activities that develop essential skills in math and reasoning, sequencing, estimation, problem solving, positional concepts, social studies, art, science, and language arts. In addition to the integration of the alphabet into various subject areas, the curriculum utilizes storytelling and language activities to provide a foundation for emerging literacy skills, rhyming, and phonemic awareness. Each thematic unit culminates with an exciting event such as going on a safari, Thanksgiving Feast, the March of the Penguins, digging for dinosaur bones, observing the life cycle of butterflies and releasing them in spring, and much more. As with all classes, Spanish, Kindermusik, music, library, and physical education supplement the curriculum. Field trips are a fun way to extend the classroom. Past favorites are the pumpkin patch, the horse farm, and strawberry picking.
Pre-Kindergarten Class (5K)
The Pre-Kindergarten class is designed for older four-year-olds and young five-year-olds whose parents realize that their student can profit over the remaining fourteen years of primary and secondary education from an extra year in which to develop and mature. The curriculum was designed and developed for a transitional/developmental kindergarten setting to help students develop a strong foundation for future school success. The children are exposed to whole language and phonics methods of reading readiness skills. Manipulative and hands-on activities in math are provided for learning measurements, patterns, number recognition, money, time, addition, and problem-solving. Monthly thematic units such as nutrition are incorporated into the curriculum. As with all classes, Spanish, Kindermusik, music, library, and physical education supplement the curriculum. Field trips are taken to enrich and supplement students learning such as the State Farmer’s Market, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, pumpkin patch and strawberry field.
Each student entering Kindergarten will be assessed by our faculty and admission staff. Our Kindergarten class is a full-day program (8:00 AM-2:45 PM) with academic and enrichment activities throughout the day.
Elements of Open Court, as well as best practices in current early childhood education gleaned from leading educators, are combined to form the guiding philosophy of our Kindergarten. With small class size, we ensure the individual development of each child. Because each child is a unique learner, our Kindergartners are exposed to a variety of learning methods.
Environmental print, Big Books, and word journaling are used for pre-reading and reading skills. Our Kindergarten is unabashedly a demanding academic program for youngsters. While we believe that learning must be fun and interactive, most of our Kindergartners are reading independently by the end of their year. Math, reading and writing are integrated in most activities. Higher order thinking skills in math are added to science in activities requiring approximation, estimation, and observation. Again, as with a demanding curriculum, our students master the concepts of addition and subtraction during this year. Over arching all of our activities is the knowledge that all children learn in multiple ways. Our teaching and learning incorporate all of these learning styles as a way of re-enforcement. As more than a few of our parents have observed, our children do not have any idea of just how hard they are working and how much they are learning…...it’s fun.
Art, Spanish, Kindermusik, music, library, and physical education supplement the curriculum. Field trips are planned to reinforce what is going on inside the classroom. Some of these trips include the following: Pumpkin Patch, Strawberry Farm, and Tidal Flats.
From grades 3K through Kindergarten, WCDS students benefit from having Kindermusik, a music and movement program, integrated into their regular music curriculum. Kindermusik enhances the child’s learning experience at school, and its curriculum focuses on nurturing the following skills in the whole child: cognitive, physical, social emotional and language. Additionally, our Kindermusik teacher is not only fully certified, she has attained a master’s degree in Orff-Schulwerk.
Before and After School Care
Before and after school care is available for Wayne Country Day School students, ages three through six. Our childcare may be used on a regular schedule for working parents or on a drop-in basis for those parents who require service occasionally.
Children may be dropped off at 7:00 AM, and must be picked up no later than 5:30 PM.
Year Round Program
Our school offers a limited number of places in the Year Round program for dual-working parents. With the exception of six days from August through May, and the first two weeks in July, two levels of Year Round -- 3K and 4K, preK and Kindergarten -- are offered to those families who require a Year Round school year.