The Early Childhood Program at St. Anne's School of Annapolis
Preschool and Prekindergarten constitute our Early Childhood Division, with half day and all day options to fit your child's developmental needs.
Since 2001, the St. Anne’s School of Annapolis Early Childhood Program has been inspired by the educational approach of the renowned preschool programs in Reggio Emilia, Italy, named by Time magazine as “one of the ten best school systems in the world,” as well as the Project Approach, a fundamental approach to teaching and learning which is thoughtful, complex and organized.
The Reggio Emilia-inspired approach addresses the development of the whole child, emphasizing family and societal influences, a small student/teacher ratio, close collaboration among administrators and teachers, and careful attention to the physical environment.
The Project Approach, developed by educators Lilian Katz and Sylvia Chard and recognized by leading early childhood educators, is centered around an in-depth study of a topic or theme. Individual children, groups of children, or an entire class may carry out the study and present their findings in a variety of ways. The Project Approach dovetails well with the inquiry-based approach of Reggio-inspired learning. The teacher guides the exploration, inviting students to discuss their previous experiences with a topic and to share their questions and interests on the subject.
Both the Reggio Emilia and the Project Approach are supported by a low student/teacher ratio and small class size at St. Anne’s School. Our Preschool and Prekindergarten classrooms provide the ideal environment for students to learn through a combination of traditional and innovative programs. Each class has a teacher and an assistant teacher who design curricula influenced by Reggio Emilia and the Project Approach. The Early Childhood staff includes an art teacher, a music teacher and a physical education teacher who work in partnership with the classroom teachers to guide our students as they explore the many avenues to express themselves as they learn.
In our Early Childhood classrooms, you will witness a peaceful environment conducive to thinking and learning, equipped with plants, natural materials, mirrors, and light to set the tone. Equipping the classroom in this manner also underscores our belief as an Episcopal school that we convey a sense of respect for the learner through providing “real” materials for their use. Our instruction takes into account the understanding that the physical environment acts as a “third teacher.”
Our Early Childhood Division recognizes that a vibrant mind and a love of learning are shaped in a child's earliest school years. Our classes celebrate the innate curiosity and joyful imagination of our youngest students. We begin with topics that are known and understandable to young students. We guide students to uncover new challenges and to develop new understandings about the world around them with ever-growing confidence and independence.
The St. Anne’s School Difference
From the very beginning, our goal at St. Anne’s School is to educate the whole student – not only the student’s intellect, but also his or her social, emotional, physical and spiritual needs. We want each child to feel known and included, to know that his or her presence contributes fundamentally to our school community. We intentionally implement a comprehensive social curriculum throughout the Early Childhood Division that is a hallmark of our school. The social curriculum serves as the fabric into which all the critical, challenging academic tasks are woven every day. When students feel safe, cared for, and valued, they can take healthy risks required to tackle those tasks that strengthen their cognitive abilities as well as their social and physical abilities.
Education in the Early Childhood Division program is centered on each child – not each child in isolation, but rather each child seen in relation with other children, with the family, with the teachers, with the environment of the school, with the community and with the wider society. Parents are important partners in their children's education and, therefore, in our program. Parents are an active part of their children's learning experience and, at the same time, become actively involved in the welfare and betterment of all children at St. Anne’s School.
Afternoon Enrichment Program (AEP) - The All Day Option
The Afternoon Enrichment Program is an optional program designed to augment our formal morning Early Childhood program. The afternoon program provides innovative, experiential child-centered activities that extend the experiences children have in the classroom. All Preschool and Prekindergarten students are invited to participate in this complementary program. Families may register for just one or two specific afternoons a week or all five days. For those students who require full-day care, AEP is the bridge between our morning program, which ends at noon, and the after care program, which runs from 3-6 p.m. Find out more
In addition to the Early Childhood Program, St. Anne's School offers Annapolis Twos for younger learners as part of Enrich Annapolis. Our program is led by loving, experienced educators who know developmental hallmarks and milestones of young children and who work in partnership with families to ensure that your child is launched joyfully on his or her learning journey. Find out more