Primary Curriculum

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Kindergarten

  • Art

    Students will explore foundational concepts of music (rhythm, pitch, melody, tempo, composition) and foundational concepts of visual art (line, shape, color, texture, space) through a variety of entry points, with storytelling elements at the center of each unit. Listening skills and observational skills are developed through exposure and discussion of musical and artistic genres, with emphasis on verbal and written reflection (“What do you hear? What do you feel? What do you see? What do you wonder?”). Students also participate in Celebrations of Learning through collaborative STEAM projects during the year. 

    In addition to weekly classes with our art teacher, Kindergarteners engage in art experiences daily within the classroom. In the early years when children may not yet be able to adequately express themselves through written or verbal means, art enables them to creatively express their individuality, feelings, and ideas. Art experiences provide an engaging, nonjudgmental scaffold within which the classroom teacher can effectively incorporate literacy, science, math, and social studies as well as physical, social-emotional, and creative goals.
  • Library

    The core curriculum for the library adds depth to all other curricular areas for each grade level. We seek to foster a love of reading in our students by exploring literature and engaging in book discussions. We believe that research and information literacy skills are vital to success across every subject area. Guided by standards outlined by the American Library Association, we teach students how to find and access information effectively and efficiently, how to critically evaluate information and its sources, how to incorporate research into their own work, and how to properly cite information gathered through this process in their own work.
  • Music

    Students will explore foundational concepts of music (rhythm, pitch, melody, tempo, composition) and foundational concepts of visual art (line, shape, color, texture, space) through a variety of entry points, with storytelling elements at the center of each unit. Listening skills and observational skills are developed through exposure and discussion of musical and artistic genres, with emphasis on verbal and written reflection (“What do you hear? What do you feel? What do you see? What do you wonder?”). Students also participate in Celebrations of Learning through collaborative STEAM projects during the year. 
  • Physical Education

    The PE department, first and foremost, is responsible for helping our young people acquire the skills and self-confidence they need to participate in a wide variety of physical activities. The curriculum seeks to develop strength, stamina, and coordination. Our hope is that what is gained through our fun and developmentally appropriate activities will go with them well beyond their school days. Students learn the motor skills necessary to participate in a wide variety of physical activities, helping them to understand the link between physical activity and good health. Among other resources, we draw from the SPARK program, Jump Rope for Heart, Great Activities, as well as Project Adventure curriculum.
  • Spanish

    In Primary School, Spanish is an extension and an expansion of the fundamental concepts started in early childhood education. Children will expand upon their basic knowledge of the Spanish language, learning Spanish in an interactive way, through song, dance, art and games, incorporating Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) and Responsive Classroom. Students will engage in listening, speaking, reading and writing activities. As with other grades, particular emphasis will be on the repetition of vocabulary and commands.
  • Science

    Science and Social Studies
    The prevailing theme in our Kindergarten program is Growing and Changing. Throughout the year, Kindergarteners observe and discuss the growth and changes that occur around them, in nature, in their school environment, and in themselves. Units include the following: Seasons, Weather, Recycling and Trees, Me and My Family, Diversity, Manners, Health and Nutrition, Five Senses, Shelter/Building, Living Things and Life Cycles.

    STEAM is the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math which provides a framework for planning and implementing daily lessons. STEAM activities emerge from collaborative planning and take place in co-curricular classes, during our weekly designated STEAM/Science lab time as well as within the classroom on a daily basis. These lessons promote creative thinking, problem solving, collaborating, making connections, and inspiring innovation. STEAM is a vital thread in our curriculum.
     
    Growing and Changing
    The prevailing theme in Kindergarten, children observe and discuss the growth and changes that occur in nature, the classroom and school, their families, and themselves. Using the many versions of “The Three Little Pigs,” student learn about architecture, weather, and structures. They build, create, and problem-solve along the way.
  • Elmore Leadership Program

    • Community Service projects - Kinders collect cans for the food pantry, pet supplies, and clothing for local charities
    • Leadership - Kindergartners learn to appropriately communicate with others, share their voices, and become more confident speakers through daily classroom and co-curricular activities, WTCS sharings, and our Poetry Recitation. They are also learning to be more responsible for themselves, their belongings, their learning. They are learning to lead as well as to follow.
  • Social Development

    Affective Education at The Country School includes social and emotional development, outdoor education, and the Elmore initiative.
    Social/Emotional development: We use components of the The Responsive Classroom approach that foster strong learning environments through an emphasis on social and emotional development. The following Kindergarten classroom practices are examples of how Responsive Classroom principles help to create an atmosphere of respect for each other and for learning:
    • Morning Meeting - gathering as a whole class each morning to greet one another, share news, and warm up for the day ahead.
    • Rule Creation - helping students create meaningful and appropriate classroom rules
    • Interactive Modeling - teaching children to notice and internalize expected behavior through modeling
    • Positive Teacher Language - using words and tone to promote children’s active learning and self-discipline
    • Logical Consequences - responding to misbehavior in a way that respects children, guides them to recognize the effects of their actions, and helps them develop internal controls
    • Guided Discovery - introducing materials using a format that encourages creativity and responsibility
    • Academic Choice - increasing student motivation and learning by providing students with teacher-structured choices in their work
    • Classroom Organization - setting up the physical room in ways that encourage independence, cooperation, and productivity
    • Collaborative Problem Solving - using conferencing, role-playing, and other strategies to resolve problems with students

Department Faculty

341 Opening Hill Road, Madison, CT 06443
P. 203-421-3113  |  F. 203-421-4390  |  Health Office F. 860-469-2550
Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child.