We know the first four years in a child’s life is the most important developmentally. Giving children the knowledge of the presence of God in their daily lives is a focal point at SMG.
During these younger childhood years, our teachers, staff and parish clergy work together to build a spiritual foundation for each child that will give them a sense of security, comfort and peace. Our belief is when a child feels a spiritual presence within it encourages positive moral and ethical behavior while promoting a sense of autonomy. It helps instill a life-long confidence that the child is not alone in this world when separated from his/her family and our loving God is present throughout the day regardless of where their journey takes them throughout their years.
Research clearly indicates that play can facilitate healthy development and is essential for young children to develop various cognitive, social and emotional skills and abilities. Play may even provide the best context in which children grow and learn. Play activities used by SMG serves to enrich and challenge each child while providing an environment where they feel respected and loved as an individual.
When a child begins preschool at SMG, a basic learn through play approach is introduced as the daily curriculum. As the child progresses to each new grade level, we continue to use learn through play while also weaving in traditional academic curriculum standards such as phonics, writing skills and math logic. Introducing traditional curriculum tactics while still focusing on play, naturally builds knowledge within each child that fully prepares them to be academically ready and confident students when entering elementary school.
In kindergarten, education is thematic, integrated, and child-centered. Children are encouraged to question and discover, making learning exciting and relevant. Children construct their learning through problem solving, cooperative learning, reflective thinking, and multi-sensory activities that are both challenging and motivating. SMG concentrates on building well-rounded students who will be ready to enter a larger campus for 1st grade. We achieve this by developing leadership, public speaking and presentation skills, and mentoring skills through buddy programs with younger preschool students.
The kindergarten curriculum at SMG follows the current standards established by the State of Arizona and the Diocese of Phoenix. Our curriculum is clearly articulated and rigorous, aligned with 21st century skills and Gospel values, and implemented through effective instruction. Classroom teaching strategies are designed to engage and motivate all students, addressing the diverse needs and capabilities of each child.
Students in kindergarten are prepared in a positive environment to be confident, life-long learners. Through the adoption of the Core Curriculum Standards in Language Arts and Math, students learn to communicate effectively, utilizing the skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and problem solving. The fundamentals of language and literacy, math, science, and social studies/history are infused with Catholic Doctrine and Catholic Social Teachings, developing the whole person with the qualities and wisdom necessary to think critically, communicate effectively, and live a life of witness to the call of Jesus.
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