The Oakville Academy for the Arts Preschool Program is an award-winning play-based program designed with the child’s natural developmental stages in mind. The class focuses on creative self-expression, sensory awareness, problem solving, refining motor skills, honing emerging pro-social communication abilities, building a foundation for future academic skills and cultivating each child’s imagination and unique perspective of the world around him or her. This enriched program is designed for children who will be 3 years of age no later than December 31st of each school year. Our Preschool experience provides the perfect learning introduction to our progressive and award-winning Junior and Senior Kindergarten programs. Preschool students may participate in the Tuesday/Thursday stream, the Monday, Wedneday, Friday stream or Monday through Friday.
The Preschool Program is focused on integrating the arts with all other curriculum areas. Our arts specialists and early childhood classroom teachers are dedicated to providing a gentle and safe learning environment wherein the development of language, math, science, social emotional and arts skills are fostered in a developmentally appropriate, play-based fashion.
Young children naturally delight in the arts. Our program provides each child with the opportunity to experiment with a variety of artistic media, participate in exciting music experiences, learn age-appropriate dance techniques and consistently find avenues for meaningful self-expression. Through these opportunities, young children feel free to express their individual ideas and feelings while mastering a sense of autonomy and initiative.
The early childhood years are critical years for venturing, exploring, playing and creating without fear of failure. These are also critical years for testing ideas, learning to learn, problem-solving, developing trust and building positive relationships with peers. Our program provides the optimum environment and curriculum in order to develop emerging skills during these particularly sensitive and critical periods in a child’s life.
“We are proud of our program’s commitment to making the development of pro-social skills and positive group behaviour a primary program objective. Global classic and current research on child development has proven time and time again, that Preschool children are significantly better positioned to internalize emerging cognitive/academic concepts when their social and emotional needs and forays have been supported during the years preceding Kindergarten.”
Like our highly regarded Junior and Senior Kindergarten Programs, year after year, the feedback received from parents of students having moved on from OAAK’s Preschool Program is consistent: the level of preparedness for Junior Kindergarten is exemplary; the social competence and emotional intelligence with which the students enter their Kindergarten environments is unparalleled, co-operative play skills are firmly in place and the focus and ability to attend to classroom tasks is superb!
The Preschool Program is influenced and inspired by Italy’s famed, Reggio Emilia approach to creating optimum learning environments for young children. Within the context of this philosophical movement, young learners are encouraged, along with their teachers, to decide upon and undertake projects of study that allow for on-going investigation, in-depth study and the ability to develop and internalize skills and concepts from the entire range of curriculum components such as math, science, visual arts, social studies, music, dance/movement and technology. These subject areas, within a project-based emergent curriculum, are delivered to students through group dialogue, well chosen program and learning materials, literacy and math charts connected to the on-going investigation of ideas put forth by children and, of course, the visual arts.
What you will not see in a Reggio-inspired Preschool classroom setting:
- Pre-planned themes
- Academic work sheets
- Cookie cutter pieces of art pre-fabricated by teaching staff
- Toys and materials reflecting gender stereotypes (based on style or colour)
- Displays and seasonal decorations that have not been inspired by the thoughts and ideas of the Preschool students