Maternelle: Cycle 1
In the French educational system, “l’école maternelle” includes both preschool and kindergarten. Children are placed in the section which best corresponds to their developmental age; typically, age three in PK, four in MK, and five in K. For Kindergarten, children must turn five by December 31 of the year enrolled. Learn more about our kindergarten program.
All of our Maternelle classrooms (including kindergarten) have full-time teacher’s assistants so that each child gets ample individual attention.
Our Preschool offers children full immersion in French. Our children not only learn to understand and speak French, they also learn about different cultures and traditions as they are immersed in a multicultural environment.
Our Preschool’s goal is to balance the development of knowledge while taking into consideration the children’s experiences and interests. Our ultimate aim is to help each child develop a sense of autonomy/independence, and support their growth of knowledge and skills necessary for school readiness.
Our Preschool is modeled on social, developmental and constructivist approaches inspired by educators and thinkers such as Erickson, Vygotsky and Piaget. It allows each child the time to settle in, observe, imitate, carry out tasks, investigate and experiment; it stimulates their desire to learn by increasing their experiences and enriching their understanding.
Our Preschool revolves around children being intrinsically curious, active learners through play and tasks, and their desire to overcome difficulties and succeed. Our teachers encourage the development of the whole child by responding to their individual needs. They provide a safe environment for children to explore different types of relationships, to learn and discover the world through play, to wonder and investigate ideas and possibilities, to create and produce projects, to practice and rehearse rich and diverse situations by helping children develop their own identity and a multicultural awareness.
The National French Curriculum guidelines and our Academic Long Range Plan (“Projet d’établissement”) guarantee the continuity between our pre-primary, primary and secondary grades. We encourage and welcome parents’ participation in the life of our school.
Because the French early education program includes kindergarten in what is called the “Early Learning Cycle” or “Ecole Maternelle”, our preschool program shares curriculum objectives with our Kindergarten in preparing our students for elementary school.
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