At Finna, children are explorers, risk-takers, and researchers. Whether studying the creatures of the ocean, experimenting with light, or telling stories from outer space, children are active participants in the process of discovery and learning. Throughout the year, children are immersed in long-term thematic studies that integrate concepts and skills across all areas of the curriculum. Children’s natural curiosities and unique capacities are nurtured while fostering independence and age-appropriate development.
The Village School journey begins with the Early Childhood Program, Finna Explorations, which establishes the foundation for excellence in literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies through the expert use of hands-on learning. This curriculum instills a love of learning—rewarding critical thinking skills, curiosity, and creativity—while developing important social skills, providing a firm foundation on which to maximize emotional, physical, and intellectual development.
Through the joy of play and collaborative explorations into worlds unknown, the Finna curriculum takes children through the voyage of discovery of self, others, and the natural world, forming connections and meaningful learning. When complete, this program provides every child with the knowledge, skills, compassion, and self-confidence necessary to succeed in a world of high expectations and collaborative achievement.
Overview of the Program
Finna Explorations begins at two years of age. Our new, state-of-the-art early childhood facility provides the perfect platform for a fully integrated, discovery-based experience in which children develop skills and knowledge of science, numeracy, literacy, social connectedness, and moral character within the context of their thematic curriculum.
The individual pace of this learning is determined through one-on-one and observational assessment of each student throughout the school year. Assessments are gathered in a portfolio format and then used as a tool for differentiation based upon the needs of the individual children as they grow emotionally and their skills develop throughout each year.
Students in Finna Explorations interact with a variety of media and are engaged in a variety of pre-literacy activities. Teachers introduce skills through the development of oral language, phonemic awareness, literature, songs, rhymes, and games. Students are active participants and are offered many opportunities to express their thoughts and opinions with their classmates and teachers. Students are immersed in a media-rich environment and engage in vocabulary development, word concepts, and exposure to various genre structures, boosting their pre-literacy skills.
Mathematical readiness is delivered through a variety of approaches that involve students interacting with their environment and manipulating three-dimensional objects. Students improve their logical reasoning skills as they play, and are introduced to number sense and number recognition; use geometry to develop spatial sense, describe shapes, create patterns; and learn operations to sort, count, compare, measure, and estimate.
Movement classes focus on gross motor skills that strengthen the large muscle groups of the body and increase coordination through movement activities and games. A non-competitive environment is created so students feel safe to take appropriate risks in trying new skills.
The music program is designed to instill and promote the joy and appreciation of music. Students participate in a variety of music activities that use different movements (clap, stomp, and jump), provide them the opportunity to play a steady beat with a group using rhythmic instruments, establish good listening skills, and sing songs.
Capitalizing on our students’ sense of wonder and natural curiosity of the world, they are engaged in a hands-on approach to science. Our teachers support your child in the development of observation skills and problem-solving skills, helping each to understand that questioning is a part of the scientific process. Learners work individually, with a partner, or in a group, and perform experiments where they are testing hypotheses, observing, describing, classifying, analyzing data, and communicating their findings orally and through written records.
Social and community awareness best describes the social studies program in Finna Explorations. Using a theme-based approach, the social studies program explores a variety of topics that are meaningful to students of this age. Students learn experientially through being a member of the classroom community. As students understand the smallest parts of the world and how to negotiate their way through, they are become able to increase their understanding and skills as their world expands.