The programme is designed around Woodstock’s belief that education is a means to elicit the greatness innate within each student. It also seeks to reflect the Guiding Principles which, above all else, seek to define our identity, by reflecting a way of living and working together which is in congruence with the teachings of Jesus.
Each day begins with Circle Time, during which students are encouraged to express themselves and listen to their peers, developing empathy. The focus will vary from day to day and class to class, sometimes with topics that challenge and inspire, but each day seeking to develop that sense of self as well as developing an understanding of others.
The Early Years curriculum is designed to enable the students to have a well-rounded education that links into the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP). The core subjects of Language Arts, Mathematics, Religious Education, Science and Social Studies are taught by the Homeroom Teachers. Specialists teach subjects such as Art, Hindi, Library, Computer Skills, Drama, General Music and Physical Education. In core areas, appropriate skills are developed at each grade level and are based on the US Core Curriculum, which also underpins the Middle Years IB programme. In addition, and in line with the rest of the school, there is a Digital Curriculum, delivered at an age-appropriate level.
Art education develops visual perception, practical skills and imagination, in addition to being profoundly connected to the idea of developing individual voice. Moving through the Early Years, students increasingly acquire skills in the areas of line, colour, value, shape and form, texture, and understanding space. Techniques employed include painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, papier-mache, needlecraft, batik and clay-work. The Art Teacher works closely with Homeroom Teachers to connect art projects with themes studied in core academic areas.
Drama in Early Years gives the students an outlet to use their bodies, voices and imaginations expressively. The students learn the skills of listening, observing, imitating and storytelling.
The Language Arts programme in Early Years encourages the development of strong literacy skills including reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students increase their vocabulary and comprehension skills, as well as learning about grammar.
Hindi is taught in order for the students to learn and develop their oral and writing skills, in the context of a growing awareness of Indian culture. For the youngest children, Hindi is taught through song, games and activities. From Kindergarten onwards, students are split into Mother tongue and beginner groups, and are taught creatively to enable appropriate opportunities for learning, understanding and using Hindi.
Students become familiar with how to locate books and with the use of reference materials, as well as learning how to conduct safe research on-line. Children enjoy listening to stories, writing book reviews and giving book talks, too.
Once again, Library sessions link into, and compliment, the learning taking place in the Homeroom.
The sequential mathematics programme, based on the US Common Core Curriculum, is geared to the child’s developing ability to move from the concrete to abstract ways of conceptualising mathematical ideas. The programme used in ECP, KG and Grade 1 is based on the understanding and application of basic foundational number concepts in preparation for grades 2 and 3 onwards, where the Abacus programme builds on and develops the children’s skills, interest, and curiosity with numbers, measurement, money, logical thought, spatial sense and estimation. Students are taught through activities and experiences which incorporate investigation, problem solving, cooperative group work and practical application of mathematics. Throughout the Early Years, Math instruction relies heavily on the use of manipulatives. In the Grade 4 and 5 classroom, the Homeroom teacher draws on a number of approaches to Math, in order to ensure students are confident in the understanding and application of Math, ready for the Middle Years programme.
General Music covers content and skills in the basic areas of rhythm, melody, instruments, musical content and movement. Children learn to sing solfege, as well as to recognise and read passages of music. Children are introduced to instruments like the Orff instruments and the recorder. By the end of Grade 5, students also have a basic understanding of the major periods of music history.
Outdoor Learning forms an essential part of the academic and enrichment programme in Early Years. Students are encouraged to develop lasting relationships with the natural world through regular opportunities scheduled in the school calendar, such as Activity Week, and taking advantage of opportunities presented by the Centre for Imagination (CFI).
Physical Education in the Early Years strives to prepare our students for a healthy life. In support of this goal, the Woodstock Sports Strategy includes an appendix of skills that form the basis of the lessons for Early Years students. Each grade level includes standards of competency in motor skills, movement strategies, regular physical activity, general physical fitness/health, and responsible behaviour.
Religious Education in the Early Years revolves around developing ‘young philosophers’. Woodstock focuses on provoking challenging questions about the origins and meaning of life, encouraging students to explore their own beliefs, building a sense of their own identity while also learning to respect others. In keeping with the Desired Learning Outcomes, students learn to understand the essence and practice of the Christian faith while valuing and exploring the contributions of other major spiritual and philosophical traditions.
The Science Curriculum in Early Years is based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This was chosen because each set of performance expectations lists connections to other ideas within the disciplines of science and engineering, and with Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts. There are three areas of learning: Physical Science, Life Science and Earth & Space Science. For each multi-grade class there is a two year rolling programme covering topics relevant for the age range.
Social Studies in the Early Years follows the ‘expanding communities’ approach, examining the students’ social and physical surroundings with the scope expanding from the family to global issues. The two grade rolling programme covers topics such as Community Helpers, Identity & Place, Migration, Civilisations and Citizenship.
Early Years students, mainly from KG upwards, can also access the after school Enrichment Programme entitled PASSAGE. Activities offered include Cooking, Board Games, Karate, Rock Climbing, Games and Friendship Club. There are also opportunities after school for students to be introduced to learning an instrument through Beginners Strings and Piano Lab.