"La Maternelle", the French preschool is essential in the French educative system. Although school is not mandatory before 5 years old, most of children are enrolled in preschools by age 2½ to 3½ years old. It has been proven that early education provides high academic and cognitive achievements.

As in France, teachers at La Maternelle have 3 to 5-year college degrees. They have training in child psychology and physical development, as well as in education. They have experience working with young children. They are First Aid and CPR certified. They also attend training on child development throughout the year.

Preschoolers / Trιs Petite Section            2½ - 3½ years old
Pre-Kindergarten / Petite Section, JK     3½ - 4Ύ years old
Kindergarten / Moyenne Section, SK      4Ύ - 6 years old

The French curriculum is organized as a series of multi-year Cycles, during which students must acquire specific knowledge and demonstrate given competencies. The concept of Cycles acknowledges that learning occurs in a different way, and at a different pace, in every child. For example, some may be proficient readers very early, while others, equally bright, take longer. Children begin to speak in French, to count, to sing, to read and to write at the start of Petite Section (JK) . By the end of Grande Section (SK) grade, which is also the end of a Cycle, all children should be bilingual.

France's renowned Ιcole Maternelle has been imitated in many countries. The French preschool is an integrated and essential first phase of the educational system. Maternelle teachers, who have the same 4-year college degree as primary teachers, have solid training in child psychology and physical development, as well as education. They begin preparing the youngest children for the work they will be asked to do later in elementary school.

In the Prι-school Les Petits Princes aims to instill in children a curiosity for learning, as they develop their own skills and talents.  They work in a supportive yet stimulating environment which is responsive to individual needs and differences. Although children follow an intensive curriculum in French at that level, language, culture and basic learning skills are emphasized.

The curriculum program at the Kindergarten and Junior Divisions is structured in such a manner as to integrate all subject matters and to foster accelerated learning and achievement. The methodology at the early stages is based on concrete pedagogy and is gradually phased out at the end of Senior Kindergarten. Although the classroom environment is informal at the Kindergarten Levels, the curriculum is structured and has very clear objectives.

It Includes:

•  French Culture •  Mathematics •  Social studies •  Science •  Art •  Music •  Computer Studies •  Physical Education

During circle time we focus once again on language development, following rules and socialization.

The following is a list of various stations available to the children:

The block station

Basic math concepts, which include counting, addition, subtraction, classifying, spatial relationships

•  Creativity •  Numbers •  Self-expression •  Small muscle development •  Problem solving 

The literacy station

•  Recognition of symbols, left-to right orientation, sequencing of story
•  Language skills
•  Small muscle development
•  Communicating effectively in-one-on-one and small group situations

The library station

•  Select books for individual needs and interests
•  Follow simple story lines in stories read aloud
•  Listen to literacy selections for personal enjoyment
•  Distinguish between real and make-believe

The art station

•  Visual recognition of color, shape, texture
•  Small muscles development, eye-hand coordination
•  Self-expression through paintings, collage materials, clay, and other dough

The manipulative/readiness station

•  Develop eye-hand coordination and small muscles
•  Learn a variety of readiness skills: sorting, comparing, counting, identifying patterns, sequencing, making predictions, classifying
•  Make decision and choices

The science station

•  Use sense to gain information about the environment
•  Observer systems, cycles, interactions and diversity in the environment
•  Make predictions
•  Develop curiosity about the natural world

Practical life

•  Pouring liquids without spilling
•  Table manners
•  Hanging jacket on hook
•  Blowing nose and throwing away tissue properly
•  Dressing oneself

Outdoor play

•  Social skills: sharing, negotiating, creating and following rules, taking turns
•  Motor development: opportunity to develop and refine large muscle skills
•  Free play

Students also benefit from small classes of no more than 8 students providing them individualized attention to help them develop mentally, physically and socially.

To download the full curriculum, please click on the following link: Full Curriculum