Our warm and nurturing Pre-Primary programme offers 3 and 4 year olds an engaging atmosphere, rich with possibilities for creative play, as well as a strong foundation for the Primary year and beyond.
A Day in the Littles... Each day is structured around the particular needs of this exciting age group. Families are welcomed at the door and children are encouraged to engage in free play, for a gentle transition into the school day. A fully trained Early Childhood Education specialist invites the children to join them in circle activities, table activities and individual explorations designed to support their development and engage their growing minds. The day is punctuated with regular, active playtimes in our beautifully-equipped Littles play space and our expansive school playground. Snacks and hot lunches are included as a part of the Pre-Primary programme.
Early Arrival beginning at 8:00am and After School care until 5:30pm are available for students in our Pre-Primary programme at no additional charge.
At Halifax Independent School, 3 and 4 year olds are offered weekday programming from the first day of school in September through the last full week of July.
The school is closed for a two-week winter break at the end of December and into the New Year. The school also closes in observance of its Founders Day, on one Friday, in February.
We keep our students moving. In all aspects of the P.E. programme we emphasize participation, co-operation, fun and a willingness to meet new challenges. Pre-primary students are offered a chance to explore and play in a gymnasium, Swim Kids swimming lessons are offered weekly and daily outdoor play is a must - lots of fresh air and fun! In-class, they have regular yoga sessions, and learn the joys of preparing and eating healthy, tasty food with our Cook and Nutrition Mentor. Children discover the exhilaration of individual physical challenges as well as the joys of being part of a team.
We express ourselves with sound. Three weekly lessons with a music specialist offer a wealth of possibilities (classical, jazz, folk, world music and more). We also provide daily integration of music into our classroom, exposing children to choral, instrumental and rhythmic activities. Our children gain the foundation for a lifelong love of music.
Nous apprenons en s'amusant (Learning and loving it). Twice weekly, we work and play in French with our French specialist, building vocabulary as we go. Words come alive through games and songs. The children are encouraged to see French as an accessible, interesting aspect of school and every day life.
We find numbers and patterns everywhere. Math is introduced as an exciting and creative tool for understanding the world. Children are exposed to the seven strands of math through play. Effective use of manipulatives develops a deep understanding of math concepts. New knowledge and skills are used to solve math problems in practical situations.
We immerse our students in language. Books are everywhere! We enjoy non-fiction research materials, daily stories and poems. Children respond to literature in myriad ways; from drama to painting to writing. Creative writing and journal-keeping begin with oral composition and move toward independent writing; children become authors. Reading and writing are developed at an appropriate level as children are ready.
We create beyond crafts. The children use a rich assortment of materials and media to spark their imaginations. The teachers emphasize process-based exploration: your child is the artist; we celebrate the work. There is an opportunity for individual and collaborative projects: we communicate as we create.
Class sizes are small at Halifax Independent to allow maximum individual attention while optimizing social interaction among the children. Most of these classes are multi-age, a structure which allows children to work and learn with other age groups and to find social and work groupings based on characteristics other than age.
Halifax Independent has its own way of describing each class. These names stem from a long tradition and were suggested and voted on at Meeting by the children. They are a way of avoiding traditional boundaries between age groups and reflect the understanding our children have that each of them is working to the best of their ability irrespective of their grade level.
The classes are as follows: Littles (Pre-primary), Youngs (Primary), Middles (Grades 1 and 2), Olds (Grades 3 and 4), Elders (Grade 5 and 6), Middle School 1 & 2 (Grades 7, 8 and 9).
The Littles class is kept at a staff to child ratio of 1:8 and the Youngs class has 15 children with one teacher.
Our pre-primary and primary students are assessed using graduated benchmarks to track academic and social development. At this level assessment is based largely on observing the children as they play and learn. Classroom teachers meet regularly to discuss the children's progress and hold conferences with parents at least three times yearly.