Young children learn in an integrated process that builds across social, intellectual, creative, emotional and physical domains. At Holly Springs Academy, we provide abundant opportunities daily for our youngsters to explore ideas and possibilities, create art, architectural, science and dance/music masterpieces, use play as the basic building block for all activities, and learn using the state approved Teaching Strategies Creative Curriculum.
Our philosophy empowers the creativity of the teacher to organize the physical classroom and implement instruction in order to reach children at all learning levels with an integration of auditory, kinesthetic and visual techniques. Because development of well-rounded individuality is paramount for young children, a child's individuality is effectively nurtured.
Our early childhood program's main focus is preparing the children to become active learners and responsible citizens beginning within the classroom.
The program creates a curriculum that coincides with the capacities and the needs of children at various stages of development, providing opportunities for interaction with the environment that are so important for learning and growth.
Our students are encouraged to explore a variety of activities, materials, and places. Allowing children to choose from a variety of materials helps them to stimulate their flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness — all of which engage children in their own learning process of planning and carrying it out, reasoning and problem-solving, and interacting with others.
Our curriculum focuses on making connections between home and school, and it includes the experience of separation from home and family. Children learn to build trusting relationships with others and how to be a part of a group. They also begin to understand how they are different from, and similar to, others. Learning about their community is also an important aspect of social-emotional development, therefore children take trips to other classrooms and offices within Holly Springs Academy, museums, parks, pumpkin and strawberry farms, the local puppet theater and the farmers' market.
Literacy and language development builds on the social and cognitive skills of speaking and listening that young children have already acquired. Children are encouraged to express themselves, their ideas, feelings, and experiences, as well as to engage in dialogue and discussions.
Our literacy & language development curriculum revolves around the following goals:
A variety of age-appropriate techniques and activities are used to accomplish these goals, including, but not limited to: recording stories children dictate, creative dramatics, making a group and individual books, reading and discussion of the daily chart, Poetry Cafe on Fridays, writing signs and writing simple stories using invented spelling.
Mathematics is a part of the core curriculum. Concrete and active experiences in math provide a solid foundation from which children can build an understanding of abstract mathematical ideas. Preschoolers work with different kinds of mathematical materials, including unit blocks, pegs, pegboards, pattern blocks, unifix cubes, dice and woodworking materials.
Teachers plan daily activities that support children developing important basic mathematical concepts:
As with the other curriculum domains, there is not a "science" hour; it is integrated into everything children do during their school day. Teachers encourage children to develop an attitude of respect for nature and their surrounding environment. Children record, order, categorize, generalize, discuss and make predictions based on their observations of the natural environment and natural materials. They also explore transformation, cause-and-effect relationships and the relationship between functions.
All children need opportunities to move and use their bodies. Young children do so constantly as they experiment with what their bodies can do and where their bodies will fit. Just as children like to manipulate toys, they enjoy putting their bodies in, on, under, over, through, behind and around. Children also have the opportunity to explore sounds and rhythms with drums, tambourines, xylophones, maracas and other non-pitched musical instruments.