Building a Strong Foundation
The best way to learn about the program at Hill is to talk to us and visit. If you would like to learn more we hope you will contact us, either through email or by calling the school to set up an appointment. We are proud of our program and eager to discuss it with you.
In Junior Kindergarten, a child’s play is his or her work. The program focuses on providing a meaningful, engaging, and joyful learning experience while meeting the individual developmental needs of each child.
Junior Kindergarten (JK) focuses on each child’s healthy development in a variety of areas. Children learn socialization skills by interacting with each other while supervised and guided by caring and experienced teachers. The program helps children develop physical awareness and grow emotionally, so that they build skills and understandings of their bodies, hearts, and minds. These experiences, we believe, are the best ways to prepare children for later academic work.
A child in the JK program has a variety of experiences every day. Language is developed through talking and listening as we share memories, stories, and books. Children learn through active engagement in sensory experience and by using manipulative learning materials. Each week students take classes outside of the homeroom, taking advantage of Hill School’s facilities and teachers to go to sports, library, and music. In all classes, each child’s creativity and ideas are nurtured. Our ultimate goal is to build a solid foundation for each child by creating a strong sense of community and security where self-confidence, independence, and growth of individual strengths are encouraged.
The math program incorporates a variety of hands on experiences and manipulatives to encourage exploration of age appropriate math concepts. Learning number rhymes, songs, and counting are typical activities that encourage children to understand that math is part of their everyday world. Throughout the year, children continue to explore the concepts of sequencing, graphing, patterning, measurement, quantity, and shapes.
Junior Kindergarten students are each paired with a 6th grade mentor who they see at least every other week. These mentor and mentee pairs do a variety of activities together including working on Calliope and Curves Angles Dots submissions.
When learning about winter animals for the December unit theme, Junior Kindergarteners donate money and supplies to the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center for a community service project. The students present their donations to the organization when they come to visit for an in-house field trip.
Learning experiences are tied to themes that are woven into the program throughout the year. Themes include: All about Me; Families; Friendship, Kindness, and Sharing; Apples and Pumpkins of Fall; Nursery Rhymes; Holidays; Winter Animals; Kings, Queens, and Castles; Valentines and Love; Spring, Plants, and Insects; Honesty and Trustworthiness; and Pets and Zoo Animals. Topics are adjusted appropriately to suit the interests of the group.
JK children also enjoy a variety of field trips and special events, including nature hikes in each season and trips to an apple orchard, pumpkin patch, and a Christmas tree farm. When appropriate, JK children also participate in Hill School events such as the Halloween Parade, the celebration of 100 days of school, Culture Study, Grandparents and Special Friends Day, and school plays. The JK and Kindergarten children also gather for special activities and perform a play together in the spring.