Golden Pond School looks at the curriculum as a whole continuing process from Twos through Junior Kindergarten where children are taught skills and concepts that develop in complexity and rigor over the preschool years. This is done through active learning that focuses on the whole child in a developmentally appropriate manner.
Young Scramblers (2 years old by September 30)
2 years old by September 30
Golden Pond School’s two-year-old Scrambler Program is designed to be an introduction to school and the routine of the classroom with an emphasis on language, Music & Movement, and Art. Through hands-on opportunities, young learners investigate their new and expanding world! Making friends and learning how to be a friend is an important part of the Scrambler Program. We focus on building your child’s confidence and sense of independence through classroom routine with the attention of affectionate, supportive teachers. Full-Day Preschool Enrichment until 6pm is available. This classroom is referred to as the Monkeys.
Scramblers (2 years old by February 28)
2 years-old by February 28
The slightly older Scramblers follow the same curriculum as their younger counterparts while also beginning the formal introduction of certain basic Core Knowledge skills, such as following two-step directions, pre-reading and math skills such as: recalling stories, understanding basic patterning and sorting skills, identify colors and shapes, activities that develop name recognition. Potty-trained is not a requirement. Full-Day Preschool Enrichment until 6pm is available. This classroom is referred to as the Bunnies.
3-Years (3 years old by September 30)
3 years-old by September 30
The Threes program builds on the social, physical, and academic skills introduced in the Scramblers classes. Experiential learning follows the Preschool Core Knowledge Sequence Level 1. We continue our emphasis on language, music, song, finger plays, and art, while also working on social skills, manners, and respecting others and our world. This program also marks the beginning of daily Spanish lessons. This curriculum is designed to be interactive and ignite a child’s natural curiosity. These classrooms are referred to as the Bees and Ducklings. Children in all our Threes programs must be potty-independent. Lunch Bunch until 1:10pm and Full-Day Preschool Enrichment until 6pm is available.
Explorers (4 years old by February 28)
4 years old by February 28
Explorers build on their experience as Scramblers, incorporating basic skills in literacy and math into the monthly topics of exploration. Follows Preschool Core Knowledge Preschool Sequence Level 1. Children are introduced to the written word through songs, poems, nursery rhymes, stories and class books and start to make sense of print by manipulating letters in their names and in teacher-made print. Mathematics are intertwined as children are introduced to one-to-one correspondence, rote counting to 10, sorting, graphing and basic patterning. Children also begin daily Spanish lessons. These classrooms are referred to as the Zebras and Giraffes. Lunch Bunch until 1:10pm and Full-Day Preschool Enrichment until 6pm is available.
4-Years (4 years old by September 30)
4 years-old by September 30
The Fours Preschool Program develops skills in literacy and math. The written word is highlighted through songs, poems, nursery rhymes, stories and books. Children are introduced to and encouraged to use inventive spelling and manipulate print as they sign-in daily, label murals, create graphs and add to class messages. Mathematics become a key part of curriculum content. The children practice one-to-one correspondence, rote count backwards and forwards to 10, sort using 3+ attributes, find patterns and work together to compare data in graphs. This program also continues daily Spanish lessons. These classrooms are referred to as the Frogs and Butterflies. Lunch Bunch until 1:10pm and Full-Day Preschool Enrichment until 6pm is available.
Junior Kindergarten JK (5 years old by February 28)
Junior Kindergarten (JK)
5 years old by February 28
Our Junior Kindergarten continues with more exploratory, topic-based learning as we follow the Core Knowledge Sequence Level 2. This program marks the introduction of journaling. As the year progresses, the journaling changes from child-dictated sentences to child-written sentences. Our JK children are encouraged to use inventive spelling and continue to manipulate print as they sign-in daily, label projects, create graphs, and add to class messages. Children also practice increasingly sophisticated applications of math concepts from their Explorers class and are introduced to simple addition and the concepts of greater than and less than. This program also continues our daily Spanish lessons. This classroom is referred to as the Tigers. Lunch Bunch until 1:10pm and Full-Day Preschool Enrichment until 6pm is available.
Junior Kindergarten JK Extended (5 years old by February 28)
Junior Kindergarten Extended
5 years old by February 28
GPS also offers an Extended day for our Junior Kindergarteners that builds on the social, physical and academic skills introduced in the Explorers classes, with additional time to foster friendships and work on special activities. JK Extended Day students enjoy lunch together each day (a hot lunch is provided or children may opt to pack a nut-free lunch) and share an additional recess in the afternoon. This classroom is referred to as the Bears. Full-Day Preschool Enrichment until 6pm is available.
GPS programs are enriched with Music, Art and Spanish Specialty lessons and teachers plus STEAM is also creatively integrated into daily lessons.
An introduction to music in a manner that is developmentally appropriate is part of every program. We correlate our Music & Movement program with our monthly topics of interest to encourage learning through musical play and song. Our creative Music Specialist, Tracy Foster, helps children create sound by experimenting with a wide variety of hand-held instruments while developing both motor and social skills. Hearing the subtle differences in sound and pitch also increases phonemic awareness. Through this program we learned that when combined with printed words and verses, Music & Movement also greatly improves early reading skills. Our amazing results have led to GPS teachers presenting our impressive strategies at the Virginia State Reading Association (VSRA) conferences yearly since 2012.
The Art program at Golden Pond School encourages every child to stretch their creativity and imagination and to have fun! Children work with a variety of media and experiment with abstract art, self-portraits, painting, and three-dimensional work. Each year our students display their masterpieces at the annual GPS Art Show and enjoy interactive art exhibits. The evening event is a student and parent favorite. Additionally, specialty Art Summer Camps are available each summer.
As part of introducing children to a broader world, Golden Pond School offers a fun and educational introduction to Spanish on a daily basis in our Threes, Explorers, Fours, Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes. Our Spanish specialist, Nancy Aviles, focuses on making students comfortable with the Spanish language while playing kinetic games, singing silly songs, and exploring interactive books. The exposure to another language at an early age lays an excellent foundation that can help children succeed in later grades.
As it is widely acknowledged that literacy is the cornerstone of all learning, the manner in which we teachers approach literacy is essential. A school’s approach to literacy sends all kinds of messages to students. For instance, we could tell them that print is all about phonemes and decoding as we sit them in front of a workbook. Or we could announce to them that unlocking the secrets of print is an exciting journey that will simultaneously unlock the secrets of the vibrant world around them as we delve into interesting projects. We prefer the latter – wouldn’t you?! Our hands-on, science-based activities are built upon the theme-related books that our children are enjoying. On any given day, after reading stimulating and thought provoking classic children’s literature.
Preschool Enrichment is our quality year-round care from 7am-6:00pm with stress-free snow days! Parents can select from 2 Day, 3 Day or 5 Day Preschool Enrichment (until 6pm).
Lunch Bunch is available 2, 3 or 5 days a week from 11:30am – 1:15pm. This supplementary program gives children extra time to solidify friendships with in a warm, atmosphere while enjoying lunch. Children participate in creative art projects, science experiments and other group activities. A hot lunch is served daily or students may bring a nut-free, home-packed lunch.