Kindergarten is an incredible place for exploration, connecting ideas, developing social and emotional competencies, and reaching cognitive milestones. Children are learning to be part of a classroom and school community, and to think of themselves as readers, authors, scientists, and citizens.

What does this really look like?

A child leans over to look at jars of colored water connected with paper towel stripsYou might find a group of kindergarten students comparing weight, experimenting with balance, and representing their findings through pictures and words. These important, hands-on, experiential play opportunities ground children’s learning in real world and contextual experiences. They see, feel, and manipulate to more deeply understand concepts such as balance, weight, heavy, and light.

Two kindergartners writing with colorful markersEmerging readers and writers are immersed in early literacy through story, dramatic play, and writing explorations. They experience the idea of story and develop rich language and vocabulary while providing intentional and explicit phonics instruction grounded in the Science of Reading. They practice writing through creative endeavours as well as practical everyday contexts, such as signing in, making lists and signs, and lots of cards and notes to families, teachers, and classmates.

A child and teacher build together using a glue gun and woodA small class size is vital for teachers to work with children in small groups and one on one for powerful learning moments. At Free Union, Kindergarten is allowed to continue as the “Garden for Children” and remains a place that considers the individual needs of each child.

A student pours water from a measuring cup into a mixing bowl on an outdoor tableIn our indoor spaces, our outdoor classroom, or on the nature trail, Kindergarteners are given the time and space to dive into deep explorations that often become ongoing topics of inquiry. Our curriculum is guided by developmental learning objectives, but is navigated in partnership with the children, their wonderings, and their inspiration. We feel lucky to have such varied and interesting outdoor space to investigate.