How We Teach
The Early Childhood curriculum at Chatsworth Hills Academy is based on the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), meaning that most teaching and learning will engage children in active and inquiry based learning. The PYP curriculum model is based on the constructivist approach, where it is acknowledged that learners have beliefs about how the world works based on experiences and prior learning. Our aim is for students to make connections from prior knowledge, to encourage our students’ critical thinking by teaching them how to wonder and question, for the students to reflect on their new knowledge, and to take action based on this new knowledge.
Why Should My Child Be In An IB School?
Students who are IB-educated score higher on standardized tests than their peers in lower, middle and high school. Students who take the International Baccalaureate are given preferential treatment during the selection process by over 1600 colleges and universities in the USA. They often receive large amounts of college credits, scholarship money, and other incentives to enroll in US colleges.
What We Teach
The program focuses on the total growth of the developing child, encompassing social, physical, emotional, aesthetic and cultural needs in addition to academic development. Our approach to teaching pre-reading, pre-writing and mathematical concepts has been developed from the best teaching practices. We understand that each child is a special individual and he/she will approach the curriculum in his/her own unique way, so the curriculum provides a wide range of activities in all areas of development (cognitive, creative, physical, and language) and encourages social-emotional growth.
In our classrooms, students have opportunities to work independently or under the direction of the teacher, in circles or centers, and in smaller or larger groups. In child-directed learning centers, such as a creative center, writing center, book center, science center, drama center, block building center, or music and math/manipulative center, students explore and investigate independently. During each several-week-long Unit of Inquiry, students have the opportunity to work in teacher-directed group activities where they will be involved in brainstorming sessions, discussions, research, science experiments, art projects, puppetry, flannel board stories, dramatization, singing and dancing, storytelling, and learning games.
All students have an opportunity to learn and practice with our Art, Music and Physical Education specialist teachers on a weekly basis. Students also benefit from a balance of indoor and outdoor activities, alternating quiet and more active periods. The playground is an extension of the learning environment where many choices are offered.
We pride ourselves on preparing our students to become independent, critical thinkers, problem solvers, risk-takers, and caring and respectful members of our community. The Early Childhood program is the first step in an international and global education that begins at age 2 and lasts a lifetime.
The Importance of Inclusion
The school believes happy students learn best and fosters this by implementing and modeling the four Tribes agreements:
- Mutual Respect
- Attentive Listening
- Appreciation/No put-downs
- Right to participate/Right to pass
This program has a series of activities designed to develop a feeling of inclusion among the students. Feeling included is an important part of enjoying the school experience.
PRESCHOOL BEGINNERS (2-3 years)
At this earliest age, children strive to make sense of the world around them. Our curriculum and classroom layout provide a safe environment to explore, engage, and be autonomous. It is a time when our teachers guide students through age-appropriate group activities and self-directed learning centers. Storytime reinforces the joy and wonder of books and literacy. Manipulatives and puzzles are available each day to enhance eye-hand coordination and problem-solving skills. Dramatic play, music, and movement are an important part of learning at this age. The act of pretending encourages creativity, social interaction, and language development. As the children grow and mature, they become more independent, assume simple responsibilities, and continue to build a love for learning.
PRESCHOOL INTERMEDIATE (3-4 years)
UNITS OF INQUIRY
Who We Are – In this unit our students learn how family and friends help them to make connections and come to understand who they are themselves.
Where We Are in Place and Time – In this unit the investigation is centered on what makes a home and how homes around the world are the same and how they differ.
How We Express Ourselves – In this unit students explore how people communicate their feelings to one another. They learn to interpret body language and respond appropriately to other people’s feelings.
How the World Works – This unit teaches students about the different types of animals that share the planet with us. The students look at the kinds of habitats that the animals need and how they have adapted to take advantage of the world they live in.
PRE-KINDERGARTEN (4-5 years)
UNITS OF INQUIRY
Who We Are – Students in this unit explore the way that our senses give us information about the world in which we live. They discover the way that we use our memory to connect ideas.
How We Express Ourselves – Students learn how our need to express our feelings and ideas drives us to find different ways of communicating. They consider what makes a communication clear. They examine how the modes of communication have changed over time.
How We Organize Ourselves – In this unit the students look at the various forms of transportation and consider how they are similar and how they differ from one another. In conjunction with their grade 8 buddies, they create vehicles and learn to follow the rules of the road.
Sharing the planet – This unit allows the students to explore the essential needs of living things. They investigate what organisms need to flourish and grow. They observe how living things change over time while learning how to care for the plants and animals that they share the planet with.
Contact Your Los Angeles Private Preschool
Have more questions about CHA? We’re happy to answer them – but why not see it for yourself? Feel free to call us at (818) 998-4037 or reach out to us at our contact page with any questions or to schedule a tour so you can get a taste of what CHA is all about. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we look forward to helping your child grow!