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Pre-elementary School

(2 ½ year old to Kindergarten )

The main objective in Maternelle is to allow the first school experience to be successful for the young child. These first years are the educational and pedagogical basis of later organized learning in elementary school.

Children build their basic skills through various developmental activities involving interactions with peers and with objects.
Curiosity, the desire of learning, self-confidence, respect, and autonomy will be encouraged. These five learning areas will be explored:

1 - Language learning:
Language learning is present in every day activities. The more complex functions appear in organized situations permitting each child to discover and structure their ways of communicating to the others. The following skills will be targeted:
  Communication skills,
  Description skills
  Narrative skills ( past and future experiences)
  Written language : pre-writing is taught through graphism. The students will become familiar with the function of writing, as well as the various forms of printed work.

In Kindergarten, greater emphasis is placed on reading activities through phonetic awareness as well as the principles of the alphabet. Students are encouraged to express themselves in French as much as possible.

2 - Socialization:
Children will learn to get along with others, to exchange and cooperate, while developing their personality in the class and in the school community. They will participate in activities fostering :
  Character-building: finding one's bearings, cooperating, understanding and complying with the group rules;
  Exchange and communication in diverse situations: discussing with one's classmates, with adults, discovering rules governing organized communication.

3 - Acting and Expressing Oneself Through One's Body:
Gross and fine motor skills will be developed through the following activities:
  Realizing a measurable action,
  Adjusting one's movements to different types of environments: gymnastic activities, orientation activities, climbing activities, roll and slide .
  Cooperation and competition with one another or in a collective game
  Performing artistic, esthetic or expressive actions: dance, mimes, handling small materials .


4 - Discovering the World:
Through simple experiments, children learn how to make more rational calculations, to anticipate situations, to foresee consequences, to observe the effects of their own actions, to construct relations between observed phenomena, to identify classifiable characteristics.
  Sensory activities: tactile, visual, and auditory perceptions,
  The matter and objects,
  Living creatures, the environment, hygiene and health,
  Space and time
  Forms and measurement,
  Quantity and numbers,

5 - Sensitivity, Imagination and Creation:
Creative and artistic talents will be nurtured. Children will be engaged in two main directions:
  Observation and practice: children will explore and exercise different plastic arts (drawing, painting, collage, objects and image making.)
  Vocal and listening skills: memorization of a repertoire of nursery rhymes and songs, vocal games, inventing songs and vocal production, exploring different sound environments, listening to musical excerpts and to live music.
Kindergarten being the bridge between Maternelle and Elementary School, frequent exchanges with 1st grade students are organized to better prepare the children for the next stage of their learning journey.

© September 2005, ®French American School of the Pacific Northwest dba
The Portland French School, 6318 SW Corbett Av, Portland Oregon 97239  Tel: 503-452-4160     Fax: 503-452-3890