The Village School Approach
At Finna, children are explorers, risk-takers, and researchers. Whether they’re studying the creatures of the ocean, experimenting with light, soaring through the skies of the rainforest, 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. Teachers nurture children’s natural curiosity and unique capacities while also fostering independence and age-appropriate development.
Our Early Childhood Program
The Village School journey begins with the Early Childhood Program, Finna Explorations, which establishes the basis for excellence in literacy, mathematics, inquiry based studies through the expert use of hands-on learning. This curriculum instills a love of learning—rewarding critical thinking skills, curiosity, and creativity—while also developing important social skills. Altogether, it provides a firm foundation on which to maximize children’s emotional, physical, and intellectual development.
Through the joy of play and collaborative explorations into worlds unknown, the Finna curriculum takes children through a voyage of discovery of themselves, others, and the natural world—forming connections and sparking 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.
Early Learning Curriculum
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.
Teachers determine the individual pace of this learning through one-on-one and observational assessments of each student throughout the school year. They gather assessments in a portfolio format and then use them as a tool for differentiation based upon the needs of the individual children, as they grow emotionally and as their skills develop throughout each year.
Students in Finna Explorations interact with a variety of media and are engaged in numerous pre-literacy activities. Teachers introduce skills through the development of oral language, phonemic awareness, literature, songs, rhymes, and games.
Students are active participants. Teachers offer many opportunities for students to express their thoughts and opinions among their class. They 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.
Teachers establish mathematical readiness 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. They use geometry to develop spatial sense, describe shapes, and create patterns; and they 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. Teachers create a non-competitive environment, so students feel safe to take appropriate risks in trying new skills.
We have designed our music program to instill joy and promote the appreciation of music. Students participate in a variety of music activities that use different movements (clapping, stomping, and jumping) and teach them to play a steady beat as part of a group using rhythmic instruments. They also sing songs and develop good listening skills.
Capitalizing on our students’ sense of wonder and natural curiosity about the world, we engage them in a hands-on approach to science. Our teachers support your child as they develop observation and problem-solving skills, helping them to understand that questioning is part of the scientific process. Learners work individually, with a partner, or in a group, and perform experiments in which they test hypotheses; observe, describe, classify, and analyze data; and communicate their findings orally and through written records.
Social and community awareness are at the heart of the social studies curriculum in Early Childhood. 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 by being a member of the classroom community. As students come to understand the smallest parts of the world and how to negotiate their way through it, they increase their understanding and skills as their world expands.