At Ma Petite École, our program follows the curriculum established by the French Ministry of Education. The children’s work is focused on developing memory and creativity, reasoning and imagination, diligence and autonomy, and fostering the spirit of initiative. Intellectual development is stimulated with observation, experimentation, and active exploration; we give children opportunities to build on their understandings. We offer a structured and clearly defined teaching program oriented toward the acquisition of core knowledge. Children benefit from coaching that helps them understand why reading, math and science knowledge is useful to them. We guide them through learning tasks, finding information, and seeking multiple perspectives.

 

In their first year, children aged between two-and-a half and three-and-a-half enter the “Toute Petite Section” program. We focus on the following subjects:

  • Socialization and interaction with other children and teachers. Social skills are encouraged through group play, learning responsible behavior, and respect for others. Emotional growth is cultivated by promoting cooperation, a positive self-image, as well as developing trust and independence.
  • Behavior towards learning: Listening to directions and focusing on directed activities in order to develop attention span.
  • Immersion in the French oral language though interaction in the classroom and nursery rhymes.
  • Early literacy.
  • Fine motor skills: Drawing circles, as well as horizontal, vertical, and interrupted lines.
  • Mathematics: Counting up to ten, and beginning to write numbers up to three, depending on the child’s developmental stage. Matching numbers with a quantity. Recognizing and naming shapes.

 

In their second year, children aged between three-and-a-half and four-and-a-half enter the “Petite Section” program. We focus on the following subjects:

  • Handwriting: Lower and upper case alphabet. Writing short, simple words where the relationship of letters to sounds has been studied.
  • Literacy: Differentiating sounds. Distinguishing the syllables of a spoken word. Recognizing the same syllable in several statements.
  • Mathematics: Writing numbers up to 20. Counting orally up to 30.
  • Nature and Science: Children observe different forms of life. Keeping animals, and growing plants and vegetables are valuable ways of learning about life cycles.
  • Time: Understanding the cyclical aspects of certain phenomena (i.e. the seasons) or representations of time (i.e. the week and the month), and beginning to learn how to tell time.
  • Space: Learning where to place themselves geographically on both a local (city, state and country) and global level.
  • Arts: Drawing, painting and craft activities are important methods of expression. The children discover by experimenting with different materials.

 

In their third year, children aged between four-and-a-half and five-and-a-half enter the "Moyenne Section" program. We focus on the following subjects:

  • Learning how to read for the children who have been at Ma Petite École in "Toute Petite section" and "Petite Section."
  • Writing in lower case, and recognizing cursive letters.
  • Mathematics: Exploring different counting patterns like skip counting, learning mathematical symbols (i.e. +, -, =) and techniques, and practicing addition and subtraction.
  • Time and space concepts: Learning how to say and write the date. Situating events in relation to others.
  • Word discovery: Introduction to art and customs for different cultures. Raising an awareness of others, and nurturing respect for differences.

 

For more details on the foundation of our curriculum, you can refer to the French Ministry of Education’s website:
http://www.education.gouv.fr/bo/2008/hs3/programme_maternelle.htm

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