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Early Childhood Program

In the spirit of an Episcopal school, the early childhood program at St. Mark’s Episcopal School offers “a lively center for sound learning, new discovery and the pursuit of wisdom.” Classroom environments are arranged in learning centers filled with hands-on materials and teacher directed activities that foster growth in social, emotional, cognitive, fine and gross motor and creative skill development.

Outdoor environments are well-designed play spaces that enhance collaborative play and gross motor skill acquisition.   Each innovative classroom is staffed with a lead teacher and an assistant setting the stage for small and large group learning experiences and the opportunity for individualized guidance throughout the school day.

Our youngest students in preschool 2s and 3s spend their mornings in classrooms designed for open-ended learning activities guided by nurturing, experienced teachers of young children. The well-planned environment provides activities designed to “grow” age-appropriate skills through self-selected experiences and teacher guided activities. Emphasis is placed upon the process rather than the product and the joy of hands-on, active learning projects. Our teachers work with students on developing independence and socialization, building self-control, and instilling a love of learning.

Curious, creative and enthusiastic learning drives our students in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten to embrace focused early childhood learning experiences. As they move away from open-ended centers play to activities with an introduced purpose, they acquire academic skills, and emergent reading and math benchmarks. Our program emphasizes the strengthening of fine motor skills and continued development of social and emotional skills. Thematic studies are designed to immerse children in the study of science and social studies topics such as fall harvest, Native Americans, holiday traditions, spiders, Asia, penguins, oviparous animals, insects, and more.

Preschool 2s Core Curriculum

Schedule:

Monday through Friday; Half-day,
8:30 AM to 12:30 PM; students may extend their day until 2:30 PM

Learning Centers:

Blocks, Puzzles, Games, Dramatic Play, Reading, Art Experiences, Fine Motor Practice, Scooters and more to extend Gross Motor Development.

Enrichment Classes:

Library, Religion, and Music and Movement.

Outdoor Play:

Utilizing the courtyard playground and green space for joyous outdoor activities. 

Curriculum:

Expressive Language development through storytelling, read-aloud stories, picture concept materials and daily interaction. Thematic Studies engage students in hands-on activities centered around holidays, weather, families, and more. Classroom materials are selected to build Math, Science and Reading readiness.

Preschool 3s Core Curriculum

Schedule:

Monday through Friday
8:30 AM to 2:30 PM

Learning Centers:

Blocks, Puzzles, Manipulatives, Dramatic Play, Reading, Easel and Art Experiences, Math and Science.

Enrichment Classes:

Library, Religion, Music and Movement, and Chapel.

Curriculum:

Reading readiness through an emphasis on storytelling, letter recognition, rhyming and phoneme activities. Math readiness through center games and puzzles, sorting, counting and classifying activities. Vocabulary Enrichment through quality children’s literature and thematic studies. Fine Motor enhanced through center games, art experiences and early writing instruction. Thematic Studies include: “All About Me”, the farm, the five senses, holidays, dinosaurs, bears, and more.

Pre-Kindergarten Core Curriculum

Schedule:

Five full days, 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM, with the option for after school care until 6:00 PM

Reading:

Oral language development, participation, and vocabulary building. Storytelling format based upon the Rice School Literacy Project. Phonemic awareness that includes rhyming, letter recognition, initial consonant sounds, writing through labeling and emergent skill activities and story dictation. Exposure to a variety of literature. Purposeful communication activities and emphasis on listening to learn.

Writing:

Handwriting begins formally with Handwriting Without Tears. This handwriting readiness program suits Pre-Kindergarten students’ developmental needs and abilities, focusing on efficient grip and letter formation.

Math:

Promoting mathematical understanding through experiences and play. Center Games and materials. Group counting, sorting and classifying activities. Individual practice through hands-on activities utilizing concepts based on Everyday Mathematics and Math Their Way.

Learning Centers:

Blocks, Cooperative Games, Puzzles, Computer, Science, Math, Dramatic Play, Sand Sensory Table, Art Experiences, Storytelling and Puppet, Manipulatives, and Smart Tubs.

Enrichment Classes:

Library, Religion, Music and Movement, Spanish, Technology, and Chapel.

Kindergarten Core Curriculum

Schedule:

Five full days, 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM, with the option for after school care until 6:00 PM

Reading:

Core program for language arts in grades K-2 is “Superkids.” A phonics-based program that seamlessly integrates all reading skills, including phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency with spelling handwriting, grammar and writing mechanics. “Superkids” characters keep the children involved, enthusiastic, and motivated as they tackle the hard work of learning to read and write.

Writing:

Students are given the tools and encouragement to continue their natural desire to construct meaningful communication through print. Activities include journal work, shared Writing activities, story writing, and genre studies.

Math:

Everyday Mathematics program for Kindergarten focusing on concepts and knowledge of basic arithmetic skills. Extensions centered around thematic studies, problem solving, and partner and group activities. Patterning, sorting, classifying, graphing, measuring, addition and subtraction, probability, geometry, place value and problem solving.

Science and Social Studies:

Concepts are taught formally through thematic studies; Students acquire knowledge through literature, multi-media, hands-on activities, and outside resources.

Enrichment Classes:

Physical Education, Library, Religion, Music, Art, Spanish, Technology, and Chapel.

 

 

Meet the Head of Lower School


Bobbye Hicks
bhicks@stmes.org


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  • 3816 Bellaire Boulevard
  • Houston, TX 77025
  • T: 713.667.7030
  • NAIS
  • National Association of Episcopal Schools
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