Academics

Early Childhood | JPK, PK & SPK

The Magic Begins Here

Through academic play, our youngest students are free to explore, discover, and experience the joy of learning.
Young children learn best through play and need play in order to grow socially, emotionally, and cognitively. Through careful observation and a deep understanding of developmentally appropriate practice, our teachers thoughtfully create play-based environments where each child is free to explore, discover, and experience the joy of learning. Materials are selected and changed based on the needs and interests of each child and the class as a whole. 

Our Early Childhood educators use project based learning to guide students through engaging lessons and meaningful activities that promote critical thinking and foster a love for learning. 

In these early years, teachers create experiences that are crucial for acquiring literacy, math, and language skills that will set them up for a lifetime of learning. While playing and engaging in project based learning, students have ample time to practice important social skills such as sharing, cooperation, and kindness. 

Junior PreKindergarten (JPK)

List of 4 items.

  • Overview

    Junior PreKindergarten is specifically designed for the developmental needs of three year olds. Exploration of the world at a personalized pace, fostering a love for learning, and developing social skills form the core of our Junior PreKindergarten program. Teachers provide nurturing environments with open ended materials and limitless opportunities for creativity that encourage every child to be curious, responsible, and happy. Our program is designed to meet the needs of our youngest students and challenge them appropriately. 
     
    The curriculum is emergent and project based. Through the children’s enthusiasm for a topic, the teachers create a sophisticated project based unit. These units incorporate language, math, communication, motor, and social skills. The project based units are in depth, allowing children to learn to think deeply and make connections. All the while, they are learning how to make friends, work together, and be a part of a classroom community. Children learn more when they are learning about something that interests them; emergent curriculum allows them to do just that. Additionally, through emergent curriculum, children learn early on that their ideas are valuable and powerful. 
     
    The JPK day is from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Each day the children have time to explore on their own during Choice Time and time to learn together as a group during Morning Meeting and Story Time. The children have Recess, Snack, and a Special each day. Their Specials are Art, Yoga, Music, P.E., and Library. 
  • Language and Literacy

    In JPK students are encouraged to “use their words” to communicate feelings, needs and ideas. An appreciation of language is developed through books, poems, songs and finger plays. Activities that promote language (dramatic play, meeting time, snack time and choice time) are included in our daily schedule. Listening skills are developed when attending to stories, listening for directions or participating in group discussions. Rhyming, story sequencing, and predicting skills are developed during story time and while playing games. Upper case letter and name recognition are developed through the Handwriting Without Tears program. Children begin to understand that printed words have meaning as we read the morning message and make charts connected to our emergent curriculum. 
  • Math

    The math program in JPK engages the children in hands-on experiences and explorations. The children are exposed to a variety of concepts through developmentally appropriate activities. These concepts are explored in our daily JPK routines and integrated into our project based units. Children also learn math concepts while playing games. These concepts include matching, sorting, numeration, patterns, spatial relationships, and data collection. Children learn the purpose of counting and measuring as they cook their own Play-Doh and many other recipes throughout the school year. 
  • Innovation and Technology

    Students in JPK use the Innovation Center and technology to enhance their curriculum. If the class is studying trains they may zoom with an engineer to learn how trains work. They may visit the Innovation Center to learn how to make wheels for a train they are building in the classroom.

PreKindergarten (PK)

List of 4 items.

  • Overview

    Our PreKindergarten program is designed for the developmental needs of four year olds. Exploration of the world at a personalized pace, fostering a love for learning, developing social skills, and kindergarten readiness form the core of our PreKindergarten program. Teachers provide nurturing environments with open ended materials and limitless opportunities for creativity that encourage every child to be curious, responsible, and happy. Our program is designed to meet the needs of four and five year olds and challenge them appropriately. 
     
    The curriculum is emergent and project based. Through the children’s enthusiasm for a topic, the teachers create a sophisticated project based unit. These units incorporate language, math, communication, motor, and social skills. The project based units are in depth, allowing children to learn to think deeply and make connections. All the while, they are learning how to make friends, work together, and be a part of a classroom community. Children learn more when they are learning about something that interests them; emergent curriculum allows them to do just that. Additionally, through emergent curriculum, children learn early on that their ideas are valuable and powerful. 
     
    The PreK day is from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.. Each day there are times for whole class, individual, and small  group learning. The children have Snack, Recess, Lunch, and a Special each day. Their Specials are Art, Yoga, Music, P.E., and Library. 
  • Language and Literacy

    Before children learn to read print, they must have an awareness of how sounds in words work. In PreK, students develop phonological awareness, which is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the sounds of spoken languages. The language and literacy skills of PK students are developed through activities such as listening to, reading, and acting out stories and poems ,writing their own stories using pictures and “inventive” spelling during Writer’s Workshop and dictating stories to a teacher. They also read classroom charts and other print throughout their day, make class books, and participate in dramatic play, Show and Tell, morning meeting, and other experiences requiring verbal communication. 
     
    Additionally, PreK students explore the elements of early literacy. Print awareness, sense of story, appreciation for literature, and understanding of the various uses of the written word are all important components. Through the Handwriting Without Tears program, which uses multi-sensory materials, students receive instruction in correct uppercase letter formation. When recognizing words that are meaningful to them, students learn letter names and letter-sound associations.
  • Math

    The math program in PreK engages students in hands-on experiences and explorations. Students are exposed to a variety of concepts in developmentally appropriate activities. These concepts are presented in both daily SPK routines and teacher directed small group lessons. Literacy and discussions are integrated into the Math program. Teachers ask the children questions such as: “What do you notice?”; “How do you know?”; and “Why do you think that?” Math concepts explored in PK include: sorting by various attributes, counting and developing number sense, recognizing and creating patterns, and developing spatial relationships. Children also explore data collection through charts and graphs that are connected to their project based units. Measuring is taught through cooking and by comparing objects. 
  • Innovation and Technology

    Students in PreK use the Innovation Center and technology to enhance their curriculum. If the class is studying babies they may zoom with a baby and the baby’s parents to learn all about what babies do. While working on creating their own baby nursery, PK students can visit the Innovation Center to see what tools and supplies are needed to make a crib. 

Senior PreKindergarten (SPK)

List of 4 items.

  • Overview

    Our Senior PreKindergarten program is designed for the developmental needs of four and five year olds. Exploration of the world at a personalized pace, fostering a love for learning, developing social skills, and kindergarten readiness form the core of our Senior PreKindergarten program. Teachers provide nurturing environments with open ended materials and limitless opportunities for creativity that encourage every child to be curious, responsible, and happy. Our program is designed to meet the needs of four and five year olds and challenge them appropriately. 
     
    The curriculum is emergent and project based. Through the children’s enthusiasm for a topic, the teachers create a sophisticated project based unit. These units incorporate language, math, communication, motor, and social skills. The project based units are in depth, allowing children to learn to think deeply and make connections. All the while, they are learning how to make friends, work together, and be a part of a classroom community. Children learn more when they are learning about something that interests them; emergent curriculum allows them to do just that. Additionally, through emergent curriculum, children learn early on that their ideas are valuable and powerful. 
     
    The SPK day is from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Each day there are times for whole class, individual, and small  group learning.  The children have Snack, Recess, Lunch, and a Special each day. Their Specials are Art, Yoga, Music, P.E., and Library. 
  • Language and Literacy

    Before children learn to read print, they must have an awareness of how sounds in words work. In SPK, students develop phonological awareness, which is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the sounds of spoken languages. The language and literacy skills of SPK students are developed through activities such as listening to, reading, and acting out stories and poems ,writing their own stories using pictures and “inventive” spelling during Writer’s Workshop and dictating stories to a teacher. They also read classroom charts and other print throughout their day, make class books, and participate in dramatic play, Show and Tell, morning meeting, and other experiences requiring verbal communication. 
     
    Additionally, SPK students explore the elements of early literacy. Print awareness, sense of story, appreciation for literature, and understanding of the various uses of the written word are all important components. Through the Handwriting Without Tears program, which uses multi-sensory materials, students receive instruction in correct uppercase letter formation. When recognizing words that are meaningful to them, students learn letter names and letter-sound associations.
  • Math

    The math program in SPK engages students in hands-on experiences and explorations. Students are exposed to a variety of concepts in developmentally appropriate activities. These concepts are presented in both daily SPK routines and teacher directed individual/small and full group lessons. Literacy and discussions are integrated into the Math program. Teachers ask the children questions such as: “What do you notice?”; “How do you know?”; and “Why do you think that?” Math concepts explored in SPK include: sorting by various attributes, counting and developing number sense, recognizing and creating patterns, and spatial relationships. Children also explore data collection through charts and graphs that are connected to their project based units. Measuring is explored through cooking and by comparing objects. 
  • Innovation and Technology

    Students in SPK use the Innovation Center and technology to enhance their curriculum. If the class is studying the ocean, they may zoom with an oceanographer who can answer their questions about the ocean. They might visit the Innovation Center to see what materials they can use to make an ocean in their classroom.
Rippowam Cisqua School
439 Cantitoe Street 
Bedford, NY 10506
phone: (914) 244-1250
Rippowam Cisqua School is a PreK-Grade 9 independent day school in Westchester County, New York. RCS offers challenging academics built on innovation, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, wellness, leadership, service learning, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
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