The Poplar School is a pre-kindergarten school of three, four and five year olds. The school is founded with an awareness of the great need for a loving and nurturing environment for the young child. The focus will be the whole child: body, mind, soul and spirit. We will wonder and marvel at the world God has created. We will explore our world with our hands in many creative activities such as cooking, science and art projects involving clay, paints, markers, crayons and glue. We will explore our world by foot on trips to parks, fire stations, grocery stores, wood and shore.
The curriculum will develop around the RI Early Learning Standards and will have many themes such as seasons, weather, transportation, farm and zoo life, community helpers and dinosaurs. Foundations will be laid in math, reading and writing readiness.
Math Readiness will include the block area, shapes, rhythm, patterning, sequencing, sets, more than, less than, equal to, one-to-one correspondence, counting, recognition of numerals, etc. Personal hands-on experience will be valued over abstract discussions, always valuing the concrete over abstract learning.
Reading Readiness includes reading stories and poetry aloud, rhyming, dictating the children's oral stories, writing stories as a group, letter recognition, sound recognition, finding things around us that begin with a certain sound, bringing phonics into our daily activities will be directed only to those children ready for them.
Writing Readiness includes small motor activities such as drawing, cutting, pasting and work with clay. We will make letters and numbers with our bodies and draw figures with our fingers in the sand and air. We will work on the flexibility and agility of the small muscles in our hands. Only when the ability level warrants will lined paper be introduced.
Children mature and develop at different rates. We will challenge children, but at the same time will work to ensure that our expectations of them are realistic. The school encourages love of learning, self-discipline, curiosity and imagination. In a caring and supportive environment, we encourage respect for others and appreciation of our differences.
Social and Emotional Development includes many of the following areas of growth: learning to seek others in play and respond to overtures of others in a friendly way, participating in group activities, developing sensitivity to the feelings of others, accepting limitations and routines, showing self control, adjusting to new situations, listening without interrupting, sharing and taking turns, and making good use of time and materials. These are big achievements for the preschool child.