Good Shepherd School Curriculum

contemplationGood Shepherd School uses a fully integrated, developmentally appropriate curriculum, which addresses the individual needs of each child. While focusing on the Social/Emotional, Physical, Cognitive and Language Development of each child, as your child progresses through Good Shepherd School and approaches the Pre-K level, Learning for a Lifetime Curriculum also addresses Literacy/Language Arts, Math and Science.

Creative play and social interaction are a major part of the curriculum. Developmentally appropriate, experiential activities are integrated throughout the day to foster thematic based learning. These activities, along with manipulatives, visual supports and toy selection all work together to support fine and gross motor development, while enhancing self-expression. All classrooms are organized in Centers to encourage child-directed learning. All instruction at Good Shepherd School meets the Tennessee Early Learning Development Standards. Our teachers are trained to use the curriculum to maximize the learning of each student.

Infants

We appreciate how very important these early years are in your child’s development. At this very early stage, babies show an incredible sense of curiosity to explore the world around them. We River 2support this discovery through music, colors, and many age appropriate toys. We create an environment that is full of love and caring to ensure that your baby feels secure to explore and gets lots of attention.

Current research shows that when we give very young children warm and responsive care – at home and at child care – we help shape their future development and ability to learn. Good Shepherd School  teachers are trained in infant development and know how to provide the love and nurturing that infants need. In our Infant program, there is no predetermined group schedule, but rather a relaxed pace which is based on the individual needs and emerging abilities of the children. We ask that parents provide a daily schedule for their child for us to work with. Teachers take their cues from the children when planning daily activities.

We keep you informed daily of the very important developmental progress your child is making through daily baby-grams. Our first priority in the infant program is to develop the self-esteem and confidence that young children gain from being in a loving, caring environment.

june twos 5Key characteristics of our Infant Curriculum include:

  • Teachers dedicated to meeting the individual needs of each infant
  • Small group activities and one-on-one learning experiences
  • Focus on early language development
  • Opportunities for positive social interactions
  • Schedules tailored to each individual infant’s needs

Transitions (one-year olds)

Toddlers are driven to explore and discover with boundless energy. Our program is designed to challenge this new sense of exploration and to capture their young love of learning. With an active schedule from 9-2, our toddler classroom is a blend of active stimulating play coupled with opportunities to participate in quiet play such as story time and art. Through the use of music, stories and games, toddlers learn to participate in activities that help expand their interest in learning, develop self-help skills and teach the concept of sharing. Toddlers face paint2are building a picture of what they can do and what they think and feel. Your child is learning about his or herself, other people, and how to communicate. In the beginning weeks of the Transition Classroom, children have a quiet time where cots are out and they can rest and regroup before lunch. As the program progresses, the children are up and running throughout the day. Typically, rest time begins a little early for the Transition Class. It is not unusual for cots to be out by 1:30 as the class is moving towards naps and carpool.

Our program provides developmentally appropriate activities and materials that stimulate young children’s growing minds and to help them answer these questions about who they are and what they can accomplish. They need predictable routines, reasonable, consistent limits to keep them safe, and many opportunities to practice new skills on their own. Our goal is to have your child develop the self-confidence and self-esteem they need to be successful and to feel good about themselves.

The key characteristics of our Toddler curriculum include:

  • Small group activities and one-on-one learning experiences
  • Focus on early language development and literacy activities
  • Opportunities for positive social interactions
  • An environment designed for safe exploration
  • Daily routines to provide the consistency toddlers crave

Pre School for Two and Three-Year Olds

Directory5Thinking, discovering and creating…Two and Three year-old children are active learners, full of questions and enthusiasm for acquiring new information and skills. They are capable of expressing their feelings and needs in many ways through art, science, music, dramatic play and construction. Children at this age are very observant and pay close attention to details. They enjoy being challenged and are very proud of their accomplishments.

Our programs provide many opportunities for children to meet with success on a daily basis. Preschool is an important step in the preparation for kindergarten, and our program supports children’s natural curiosity, enthusiasm and optimism for learning and new experiences. Our goal is to provide a warm environment where children develop a strong sense of confidence and self-esteem. We help children to become independent, self-confident and inquisitive learners.

Our preschool classrooms contain age-appropriate materials geared to building a foundation for a lifetime of learning. Preschoolers gain the basis for math and reading readiness from activities like circle time, building with blocks, dramatic play, art, and music. We also allow for plenty of gross motor play and outdoor activities.

Art1Key characteristics of our Pre School curriculum include:

  • Small group activities and individual learning experiences
  • Focus on early language and literacy activities
  • Opportunities for positive social interactions
  • Early introduction to math awareness

Pre-K and Fours Curriculum

Our Pre-Kindergarten and Fours program works with a child’s natural curiosities and provides each child with a highly stimulating early learning experience. The goals of both programs are to instill a love of learning and prepare your child academically to succeed in public or private kindergarten (or Pre K if they are not moving onto Kindergarten). While children are engaging in active play, we begin to lay the foundations of reading and math readiness. This readiness comes in the form of letter and number recognition, the beginning of writing letters, and exposure to art and science concepts.

SophieThe curriculum is structured into special learning events which are child directed and project based. Children choose the activities that interest them whether it be completing a report for school, building a village in the construction center, attending a workshop on mask making or baking cookies with the teacher. Our intent is to allow children an opportunity to relax and have fun while they develop new interests and make new friends while they are preparing for Pre K and Kindergarten.

While the key characteristics of the Pre K and Fours program are the same, the schedule of the Fours program offers more flexibility. They meet from 9-12 with an optional Lunch Bunch program from 12-2. It is often appropriate for younger Fours who will not be moving on to Kindergarten, or families who want more flexibility in their child’s Pre K scheduling. This class is not offered every year. The enrollment numbers and ages of the children determine the need for a Fours Class.

Key characteristics of our Pre-Kindergarten curriculum include:

  • Small group activities and individual learning experiences
  • Focus on literacy activities and letter recognition
  • Learning through play at a child’s own developmental pace
  • Early introduction to math awareness skills
  • Experience with basic computer skills

Kelly GrantThe Pre-K program is a five-day, 9-2 program. Following Lunch the afternoon program,  continues with fully integrated learning activities. Using the outdoors as a natural classroom with instruction involving all five senses, the Pre-K program encourages young learners to explore their environment in preparation for the transition to Kindergarten and to build a foundation for lifelong learning.

The Good Shepherd Pre-K program also includes weekly Chapel and bi-weekly Godly Play classes, incorporating Bible Stories, using the Montessori method of instruction. This program is enriched through art response time for each story. Pre-K also introduces children to weekly music classes, movement and performance arts.

Good Shepherd School has earned the highest level of excellence in all areas of operation for the past fifteen years from the Tennessee Department of Human Services. (since the inception of the Star Quality Program)Through active partnerships between family and school, students who attend Good Shepherd School are challenged and motivated in order to reach their full potential. At the same time, positive encouragement, nurturing and praise are abundant each day and seen as essential for developing confidence and a positive self-image for all.