Early Childhood: Pre-K & Kindergarteners


Successful beginnings are best achieved when the earliest learning experiences are positive ones. When a young child feels good about school, attitudes are formed that promote a lifetime of intellectual growth and inquisitiveness. Early Childhood teachers nurture children to become confident learners. They foster each child's emotional, social, and academic development through hands-on learning, exploration, and creativity. In a variety of structured settings, they learn independence, cooperation, and tolerance. Teachers create an environment which provides just the right amount of support through a balance of direct instruction and organic play in order for each child to reach his or her learning goals.

Whether it's taking a field trip to Fern Hollow Nature Center, performing on stage in front of the entire Lower School, exploring new cultures through language and foods, or recognizing themselves as part of a community, students learn about themselves and explore the world around them every day at Sewickley Academy. 

Early Childhood Hours

Pre-K: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., optional afternoons until 3:00 p.m.

: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.; Tuesday, Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. with optional afternoons until 3:00 p.m.

“After Ours” program:
 Monday - Friday, 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. and offered to Pre-K through Grade 5 students. (Additional fees required.)

Early Childhood Program

Students unpack their backpacks, check-in with the teachers, read/respond to a morning message, and then join their friends outside to play (weather depending).

Morning Meeting
The students gather in circle time to properly greet each other, sing songs, respond to the morning message, and talk about the daily schedule.

The Responsive Classroom approach creates a strong sense of community that develops lifelong social and emotional skills.  

This is an opportunity for students to engage in exploring the classroom during purposeful play. They can choose centers in the room in which to play. This is also a time for teachers to meet with the students in small groups to focus on guiding the development of individual learning goals.

Fountas and Pinnell (F&P) is used to teach literacy and phonic skills to the students in small and whole group. Students learn skills from identifying letters, sounds, and sight words to understanding how letters form words and how to decode and encode.

Lessons are taught with the use of many different materials (letter tiles, picture cards, and manipulatives) and are taught through a playful manner (games both collaborative and independent and with plenty of interactions between students and teacher)

We are executing the Daily 5 program for teaching reading and literacy and will be conducting small groups during this time while some students will be working on their independent work.

The Pre-Kindergarten math program fosters the development of mathematical concepts by providing a wide range of materials for real-world problem-solving opportunities. Hands-on manipulatives are provided to make learning accessible to all learning styles as well as incorporated throughout play. Interwoven through our curriculum, children develop number concepts such as number recognition, counting skills, and one-to-one correspondence. Sorting and classifying skills, as well as creating patterns, exploring shapes, measuring and comparing quantities, and an introduction to graphing is taught to the students.

The Kindergarten math program fosters the development of mathematical concepts by providing a wide range of materials that allow children to use observation, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. The Everyday Math program emphasizes learning through hands-on activities and games. Kindergarten students use a variety of materials to address the differences in learning styles among children and encourages each child to discover and apply mathematical concepts in the world around him or her. Children learn about number concepts, sorting, classifying, patterns, solid shapes, simple graphs, the concept of passage of time, coins, problem solving, critical thinking, and the concepts of addition and subtraction.

The Early Childhood science program emphasizes observation and inquiry. Children develop scientific reasoning skills and concepts through interactions with everyday surroundings both indoors and outdoors. Teachers capitalize on the specific interests of the children and the questions that they generate. Children are also engaged in exciting experiments, which lead to discussions about forming hypotheses, recording results, and evaluating hypotheses.

Social Studies
The social studies program introduces children to facets of their immediate community (self, family, classroom, and school community) and a beginning awareness of the larger global community. Children become familiar with the concept of community, and begin to appreciate and respect multicultural differences when learning about others.

Handwriting/ Creative Writing
Handwriting is taught through the Handwriting Without Tears program. Correct upper and lower case letter formation, pencil grip, pressure, and control are emphasized. Children learn how to form letters by first making them with wooden pieces, then practicing on chalkboards, and finally writing the letters within the correct lines on paper.

Creative writing lessons are taught using the Lucy Calkins Writer’s Workshop approach, where writing is a process that includes mini lessons focusing on specific writing skills.

The Early Childhood building is a nut-free building. Current parents can check the portal for a list of safe snacks.
The students go outside for free play on the playground two or three times a day depending on curricular goals and weather.

Specialist Classes
The children attend five classes taught by specialist teachers: art, music, PE, library, and Spanish. The class length for these classes is 30 minutes a day. PreK and Kindergarten students can have up to two specials per day.

Lunch and Rest Time
Students bring packed lunches (cafeteria services start in Grade 1) and eat in the classrooms. After lunch the students have a quiet rest time. Some students sleep and students who do not nap can look at books, listen to books on tape, or draw in their drawing journal.

** Cooking
Too many cooks in the kitchen? Never! The Early Childhood building has its own kitchen. This space allows the students to get crafty and explore food with hands-on cooking experiments.  

** Outdoor Education
Every Friday Kindergarten students participate in purposeful outdoor education. Every other Friday the students travel to Fern Hollow Nature Center or Sewickley Heights Park to engage in adventures guided by the nature guides through Fern Hollow Nature Center.

** Offered on a weekly or biweekly basis.

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Sewickley Academy
315 Academy Avenue
Sewickley, PA 15143
Sewickley Academy is a nationally recognized

Pittsburgh Private School

enrolling students in Pre-K through Grade 12 on a single campus.