“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”
It’s never too early to learn who you are and explore your place in the world. Our experience is that between the age of 2 and 3, children begin to be aware of a world beyond themselves and want to understand the ‘why’ of everything. Our caring teachers and ECE specialists love nothing more than to fill their days discovering why things work the way they do.
Opportunities for children to reach their full potential are woven into every aspect of the Fern Hill curriculum. Personal development is astounding at this age — you will see big changes in your child from month to month.
The Fern Hill Difference
Your child’s introduction to life at Fern Hill School will be warm, supportive and age-appropriate. Our ability to individualize the Early-Learning Programme means that from day one, your child will benefit from the Fern Hill Difference:Small teacher-to-student ratios throughout the day provide security and a warm familiarity during these early-learning years
- Low Teacher-to-student ratios:
- Preschool: 1 : 8
- Junior Kindergarten: 1 : 12
- Senior Kindergarten: 1 : 19
- An enriched, customized curriculum that sparks the desire to learn.
- French, Mandarin, Drama, Music, Computers and Physical Education, Field Studies and Art are taught by specialists. This allows a child to discover favourite subjects and areas of personal strength early, which typically leads to lasting passion for a subject.
- Inclusion in all Fern Hill events. Daily Morning Assembly and school wide concerts reinforces a sense of community. Participation in cultural celebrations nurtures the beginning of a world view.
- Field trips foster learning and a spirit of adventure.
- House teams build inclusion throughout the school with sports and activities that promote healthy competitiveness and good sportsmanship. (Participation begins in Senior Kindergarten.)
Fern Hill’s curriculum challenges and champions
The Fern Hill School experience is a marvellous journey. When our youngest students come through Fern Hill’s doors for the first time they enter a world where numbers come to life, words take shape, computers become a canvas and their imagination is encouraged to take flight. The possibilities for learning and personal growth are infinite.
We challenge children to learn while recognizing that each child develops at an individual rate. As teachers, we watch closely and we listen. The moment we see that a child is ready for more, we encourage them to take the next step in their learning.
Preschool. Ah! The magic powers of letters and numbers
We complement our academic program with lots of exposure to the arts. Drama and Music are active and imaginative and encourage students to move with rhythm and purpose. Art allows them to express their creativity and we encourage them to explore a variety of mediums.
To help build their fine motor skills we use small puzzles, connecting blocks and scissors. Phys Ed classes develop gross motor coordination and get students excited about sports that can be played together as well as those that let them experiment independently.
Field Studies take them outdoors exploring nature; they learn to snowshoe and we introduce them to our unique birding program.
It’s a busy full day of learning and fun. You will not believe how much children can learn and how delighted they will be to serenade you with a Mandarin song, a French poem or an imaginative story at the end of their day.
Junior Kindergarten. Where the joy of reading begins
This is where reading and the joy of reading really begins! Our SuperKids reading program is an adventure, filled with colourful characters who bring the joy of learning to the classroom. Each SuperKid represents a letter, but they also have colourful passions that introduce students to culture, science, computers and math. With each letter learned, students begin to blend their sounds and create words. Soon they are reading and writing words independently.
At age 4, children begin to develop the fine motor skills needed to write letters and numbers with control and precision. We teach penmanship in a lighthearted way, using ice cream lines: Some letters get all three flavours (capital and tall letters), small letters get two flavours and some letters simply drip! (y, g, j).
Two dimensional shapes are fascinating to students at this age. We love to challenge them with puzzles, drawings and blocks — encouraging them to search out the shapes in the day-to-day world around them.
This class also embraces Mandarin and French and students love to teach words and meanings to their parents. At this stage, they are happy performers who love drama classes and enjoy any opportunity to perform in assemblies
Music, Mandarin and French really begin to take hold this year and the children are tickled by opportunities to teach something new to their parents. They have perfect pitch at this age and can mimic sounds perfectly. When you think you are greeting them correctly in Mandarin, expect a snicker at your accent and be prepared for a coaching lesson!
Senior Kindergarten. Human sponges who thirst for information
At 5, children have the mental acuity to read and the patience to stick with it. They begin to move from word books to sentence books and then move on to story books. The SuperKids programme accommodates each of these levels, using the same characters throughout. Within this programme, students are able to earn at their own pace.
This is the year that parents often become concerned when their children reverse letters and numbers. Don’t worry! We are all over this. Using the abacus to show place values, rhymes and visual clues to define letter direction, we make these errors a fun riddle that students soon solve. In most cases, reversals go away as quickly as they appeared and by Grade 2 they are typically gone forever.
In Phys Ed, students have the motor skills and the coordination to begin learning the nuances of most major sports. They have developed a strong sense of the right and the wrong way to do things and see things and they particularly enjoy learning the rules and skills associated with each sport.
With a new sense of confidence and maturity, Senior Kindergarten students are introduced to their House team and are welcomed at house events by their Grade 8 leaders. Gathered in a group with older students gives SK students a feeling of independence as well as inclusion — feelings that are both exciting and inspirational.
Don’t be surprised when your Preschooler suddenly sings a French song or begins reading. Be ready with abundant praise when your Junior or Senior Kindergarten child speaks knowingly about a world event or wows you with their math skills. This is an amazing time in their lives and at Fern Hill, we love to witness the magic happen.
“We consider that the period of early child development is equal to or, in some cases, greater in importance for the quality of the next generation than the periods children and youth spend in education or post-secondary education.”
FERN HILL EARLY YEARS PROGRAMS:
- Preschool: Full-day and morning half-day programmes.
- Please note that Preschool children need to be toilet trained and have developed communication skills that allow them to actively participate in the structured learning portions of our program.
- Junior Kindergarten: Full-day programme.
- Senior Kindergarten: Full-day programme.
All Fern Hill programmes run Monday to Friday. Fern Hill also offers after-school extra-curricular activities every day from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. A hot lunch programme may be ordered online. For working parents, before- and after-school care is also available.
Come and see us. Bring your children. Let them peek into daily school life at Fern Hill. We’re confident that you will love what you see!