Home Visits

GPS is a unique gem in Loudoun County. One of the many ways we stand out from other schools are Home Visits, special home teacher visits before your child’s first day of school. This visit allows children and teachers to get to know each other and start building their personal relationship in a comfortable environment. This is one step we take to guarantee your children will feel welcome and happy the moment they step into the classroom! Welcome to Golden Pond School!
#GPSHomeVisits #GPS

 

Teacher Training

You can feel the excitement in the halls during Teacher Training! Every August, Golden Pond School teachers, assistant teachers and administrators gather to set up their classrooms and become students! Kathie Burrell, owner of GPS for over 16 years, always creates exciting and inspirational sessions.
Training topics vary each year and this summer teachers will be learning about the importance of Handwriting and the necessary skills needed to prepare young hands for proper writing. Other training topics include Smarter Not Harder, Social and Emotional Goals and Rhyming.
Kathie Burrell uses the teaching method, The Golden Pond Way, to imprint the idea of stepping into a child’s point of view to our teachers. Just like in our classrooms, when you engage the senses in an enjoyable activity it makes a lasting memory. The Golden Pond Way of teaching and the high-quality staff is what makes Golden Pond unique and successful!
Lisa Moriarty, Principal and at GPS since 2007 says “Teacher Training at Golden Pond School gives our returning and new teachers the opportunity to get together, share fresh ideas and prepare for the school year.  Kathie Burrell’s trainings are always thoughtful and engaging; inspiring collaboration among our talented teachers and making certain they are well-equipped to educate the whole child.
Mentoring by established GPS teachers is critical to the successful development of new teachers and we are very proud of our meticulously assembled staff. Golden Pond School teachers have unparalleled credentials and a passion for early childhood education.  The support we give our teachers helps them to further develop the skills required to effectively navigate the school year ahead; ensuring a successful classroom for both children and teachers.  Great teachers inspire great students!
#BrainBuilding

Summer Camp at GPS!

Campers are having a blast at our uniquely themed camps this Summer. GPS provides a wonderful camp experience for children ages 2 1/2 – 9 with Half-Day and Full-Day options for 7 weeks. Current students, alumni and new friends have returned to camp for fun, friendship and lasting memories!

Campers are involved in activities that spark their interests and create a thirst for knowledge!”, says Teresa Wolfe, Summer Camp Director.

Campers favorites include marching as a Super Hero in the Stars & Stripes Parade; a visit from the Snowie Bus and cooling off with a snow cone; bouncing on the big, orange Splash Pad on Water Wednesdays; and end-of-the-day Dance Parties under the Pavillion.

Specialty Camps, led by our experienced GPS Teachers, include ReadingArt and Drama. Our popular Reading camps are designed to helps campers avoid the Summer Slide and strengthen fluency, comprehension, recall, sound recognition, word families, rhyming and writing. Teachers integrate the weekly theme into creative centers and activities so campers have fun! Drama campers work diligently creating sets, costumes and learning how to express themselves. This year campers are excited to perform The Dish Ran Away With the Spoon! Artcampers study Art Masters, make tie-dye shirts and create mask sculptures. They also enjoy painting, ceramics, print making and visit a local park for plein air painting.

Lizzie Niccoli, Operations Director, says GPS campers have made many memories this summer that will stay with them for years to come!”

In addition to Specialty Camps, weekly themes like Carnival DelightsStars & StripesFinger Licken’ FunMini MasterpiecesWacky ScienceCommotion in the OceanIcy AdventuresSTEM CarnivalEdible ScienceSpy KidsGrossology and Gigantic Games are full of fun activities including:

 

  • Designing carnival games – Ramp Bowling, Tightrope Walk, Photo Booth with props and tissue paper flowers
  • Performing Yankee Doodle Dandy for parents, designing and decorating 4th of July parade floats and banners
  • Shucking snap peas, blending smoothies, making colored sugar necklaces, Making apple bread and rainbow pancakes from scratch, s’mores in a solar oven constructed from a pizza box
  • Learning how rock candy is made, measuring the height of Mentos Geisers, hunting for iron in cereal, making volcanoes erupt
  • Making cave drawings, Castle printing with Legos and Andy Warhol inspired handprint art, playing with a Starry Night Discover bin
  • Analyzing fingerprinting, solving riddles to locate the missing Golden Duck, creating secret messages
  • Building a worm observation tower, creating a coral reef sculpture, learning how to card wool from sheep
  • In-House Shows: The Claude Moore Park Frog Shackle Nature Center, a Magician, Under the Sea and more!
  • Field Trips: Children’s Science Center Lab, Monster Mini Golf and Rita’s of Leesburg, Great Harvest Bakery, Rebounderz and more!

Two happy campers recently told us: “There is nowhere else I’d want to be than Golden Pond Summer Camp! It’s the best!” and “I love playing with my friends at Summer Camp.”

We are already planning fun activities for next year! Learn more at www.goldenpondsummercamp.com

 

New Student Social

This month Golden Pond School hosted our annual New Student Social! This is our special way of welcoming all new students who are registered for the 2018-19 school year. Incoming students experienced the The Golden Pond Way for the first time through duck themed, hands on games, art, cookie decorating, crafts, and more. New friends played Lucky Ducky, Duckpin Bowling, Egg Toss, Pin the tail on the Duck, Chuck-a-Duck Bean Bag Toss, took photos, painted murals, decorated cookies, made Duck Feed and Duck Visors plus learned bubble adjectives in Spanish!

We look forward to seeing all these new faces again this Summer and Fall! Welcome to the Golden Pond School Family!

Field Days!

Field Day at Golden Pond School is a big event and a student favorite! Elizabeth Dwyer, Operations Director, creates a memorable, school-wide extravaganza every year. Parent Volunteers and Teachers helped students navigate creative activities all over the school. The Trike Wash, created by a teacher, is the best – you can hear the laughing of the children all the way on the other side of the building! Sack races, bubbles, basketball, obstacle courses, water games and more happened throughout the event and refreshing ice-pops ended the exciting day! We were fortunate to have amazing weather for our Field Days during this rainy Spring. Thank you to everyone who made this another special event at GPS!

 

Kindergarten Readiness

At Golden Pond School we are often asked if children are ready for Kindergarten. There are important skills children need to have acquired prior to starting Kindergarten that make this milestone year a successful and happy experience.

  • Social & Emotional Skills – This is one of the most important areas of readiness. Children need to be able to cooperate with their peers in groups and activities and be able to control their impulses. Being comfortable with non-family authority figures reduces stress and allows children to be able to focus on their academics.
  • Motor Skills – Fine Motor skills that work small muscle groups include drawing, coloring, cutting and beginning handwriting. Gross Motor skills that work large muscle groups include walking in a straight line and throwing a ball.
  • Cognitive & Intellectual Readiness – Cognitive readiness is when a child is able to answer questions about their environment, assemble simple puzzles, understand similarities, differences, and opposites. Intellectual readiness are learning skills a child needs to make a smooth transition like knowledge of colors, numbers up to 10, some letters of the alphabet and shapes.
  • Curiosity & Eagerness – Children will be most successful if they learn to ask questions, think independently, and be creative. They should be curious about the world, how things work, and how to creatively approach problems. Ask your child questions like “Why do you think that?” or “Where do you think we could find the answer to your question?”. You are encouraging your child to think for themselves and building their self-esteem.

Golden Pond School Events in Ashburn!

Creative, active learning is what GPS does best and we loved sharing our passion for brain building with new friends at Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods Market this April.

Children discovered the magic of Mo Willems at our Golden Pond School Workshop at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, April 21st. The fun and learning included interactive stories with Music & Movement, learning to draw the Pigeon with simple shapes, literacy with onomatopoeia words, character lotto and discovering patterning and numbers in sensory bins.

Eating the Rainbow is fun! GPS took over Whole Foods Market on Wednesday, April 25th. Children danced and listened to stories. They made rainbow kebobs and homemade lemonade, scrubbed fresh fruits and veggies and sorted fruits by colors. New friendships were made and as always, the Golden Pond School sunglasses were a favorite!

If you are interested in our coming to our upcoming events please sign up for our quarterly newsletter at www.goldenpondschool.com/admission/enrollment-newsletter/

There has never been a better time to invest in your child’s private Kindergarten education!

New federal tax codes allows parents to use money in 529 plans to pay for tuition for Kindergarten – 12th grade. According to the Washington Post, starting with the 2018 tax year, you can withdraw $10,000 per student, per year from a 529 plan to pay for primary or secondary education. Unlike funding for college, however, this money can be spent only on school tuition, not textbooks, computers, or other fees or activities.

More information can found in this NY Times article.

March Reading Events at GPS!

At Golden Pond School we know that children who are exposed to reading and nursery rhymes are more likely to do well in all areas of academics and develop a love of reading.Our brain-based learning approach tells us that if neurons are used, the become integrated into the brain by connecting to other neurons; if they are not used, they will fade away. It is the experiences in childhood that determine which neurons are used. We provide exciting, multi-layered experiences for our students to integrate neurons into the brain – and this March we are excited to celebrate Read Across America, annual reading and awareness program that encourages reading, and Dr. Suess’s Birthday!

In coordination with Read Across America our students enthusiastically welcome special guest readers all month long in the classrooms. We strongly encourage friends and family to join the classrooms and read to students. A brain is plastic – it grows and changes over a lifetime as it gathers new information. This growth is dependent on our experiences. What a wonderful experience for a child to have their friend or family in the classroom reading

On Dr. Suess’s Birthday the fun begins with teachers wearing red and white striped hats at car line. Then special themed snacks and lots of reading and activities celebrating the beloved Dr. Suess. When children have fun learning – they love to learn! Emotions solidify learning and multi-layered activities embed memories throughout the brain.

Exposure to Nursery Rhymes has been proven to lead to early reading. Mem Fox, writer of children’s books and an educationalist specializing in literacy, states in her book Reading Magic  that “Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know 8 nursery rhymes by heart by the time that they are 4 years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.” 

 The integrated curriculum at Golden Pond School provides constant exposure to nursery rhymes monthly in all of our programs with a special emphasis in our 3’s and 4’s programs. Our print rich classrooms and daily stories help students master language, communication and speech skills. At GPS the interactive print exposure starts immediately with the daily sign in and exciting Morning Message.

Books are a powerful tool for young children. Reading helps children acclimate to new experiences, strengthens their ability to focus and develops critical thinking skills. Reading to children is one of the most important steps in providing a foundation for academic excellence.

Grab a book, snuggle in and start reading!

GPS at Barnes & Noble!

Golden Pond School is proud to announce a wonderful partnership with Barnes & Noble One Loudoun in Ashburn, VA. Barnes & Noble opened it’s doors in November of 2017 and has quickly become a destination for our community to read, eat and relax. We were honored to be invited to the storytime hour and we were thrilled to bring the magic of Golden Pond School to the event were we had a beary good time!

Our wonderful teachers, Mrs. Pace and Mrs. Foster, brought the Bears + Valentine’s Day theme to life for the children. A bear puppet introduced our teachers and set the stage for a non-fiction book about Bears. The piano and singing was heard throughout the store as we enjoyed the song Going On A Bear Hunt. Music & Movement is a wonderful way to engage and excite young children. The fun continued with a special Valentine Bear Scavenger Hunt throughout the children’s section. Each child was able to keep their special bear as a Valentine’s Day present!

The Valentine’s Bears book was a big hit and the children enjoyed sensory tables filled with items correlating to the story. The sensory bins contained bears and berries that were sorted by size and color. Then our new friends created Bear Valentine necklaces that highlighted their age. Position words like over, under and behind were cleverly taught during the song The Bear Went Over the Mountain. The storytime ended with more singing and dancing and lots of smiles!

Reading to a child helps them understand that print makes sense and they will start to recognize high frequency words. Research shows that children need to be read 1,000 books before Kindergarten. Golden Pond School is dedicated to instilling a love of learning through a brain based curriculum through creative, hands-on activities that incorporate reading and a love of books.