To see, explore, and understand themselves, their environment, and the people around them from two perspectives. These are the gifts we strive to instill every day in our bilingual Maternelle program, providing expansive learning experiences as students journey, wide-eyed, through their first years of school.

Our Maternelle curriculum leans heavily on the scholastic depth of the French full-day program, blending in the play-based approaches of the best US early learning systems. Each classroom is composed of a small, intimate group of students, led by a pair of rigorously-trained, well-loved teachers, one a native English-speaker, the other a native French-speaker. Together, they provide a fully-immersive and highly-stimulating bilingual experience that engages the whole child. The latest communication technology tools then empower parents to share in their child’s excitement and reinforce what they have learned through at-home activities.

Agile minds

Able to move between moments

The early years of education are when children are most receptive to bilingual learning when developing minds are most flexible and fluid. Our Maternelle program embraces and amplifies this innate capability, asking our young students to explore the early “pre-skills” of reading, writing, math, and science, as well as art, music, theater, sports, technology, and even free play, while moving between the French and English languages, enhancing their life-long ability to adapt to ever-changing environments.

Open hearts

Ready to share and care with everyone

Surrounded with classmates of wide-ranging nationality, our Maternelle students’ emerging emotional, social, and physical understanding of themselves and how they fit into the world is shaped by people and perspectives from places other than their own. Connecting through two shared languages, they discover, even at this young age, what it means to be part of a respectful, supportive community—one they see modeled every day by the administrators, teachers, parents, and even older students around them, who work together in both formal activities and informal gatherings to create an enjoyable environment for everyone.

Bright futures

Eager to embrace each new day

From the design of our curriculum to the culture of our community, our bilingual Maternelle program aspires to create early education that is full of exploration, accomplishment, and joy. So that our youngest students are as excited and ready for the school day to come as they are for their next step—The École’s Elementary school.

Curriculum

Language Arts

Language Arts for Nursery addresses Oral Language, Pre-Reading, and Fine Motor and Writing skills.

Oral Language is a key step for reading and writing. While we model how to speak correctly in both French and English throughout all our activities, each day incorporates a time of “pure language” that focuses our Nursery students on the acts of speaking and listening in the language of the day.

In terms of Reading, our goal in Nursery is to instill in our students a love of books. We read the children at least one book every day, in the language of the day. The students practice making predictions, creating links between stories and their own lives, and reading along with familiar stories. We also use these times to discuss what print looks like, where it can be found on a book cover, and how certain letters, words, and sentences carry meaning.

As an entry into Writing, our Nursery students practice their fine motor skills through hand rhymes, tearing, cutting, and painting, playing with Play Dough or doing puzzles. In alignment with French teaching practices, we also introduce them to pre-writing activities, such as drawing circles, dots, spots, and lines, leading to experimentation in writing the letters of their first name.

Math

Our Nursery students engage in Math related activities throughout the day.

They explore foundational concepts like small/medium/large, a lot/a little, in front of/behind, up/down, top/bottom, and more/less, sort and classify by attributes like shape and size, and play traditional number-based games, like lotto, dominoes, simple games with dice. By the end of the year, our students have developed the ability to count and recognize written numbers from 1 to 5.
Science

In Nursery, we encourage students to experiment with the materials in the classroom as a means of understanding the physical properties of the world.

For instance, through sand and water play, the children form a basic understanding of gravity, volume, and mass, though not explicitly and not using those words. We also integrate more explicit Science projects into the yearly curriculum, exploring concepts such as the parts of the body and the five senses, as well as plants, animals, and seasons.
Art

Art is an integral part of our Nursery curricula, enabling students to express themselves freely.

They explore different materials and different techniques in drawing, painting, modeling, and collages and begin mastering the use of different tools such as pencils, brushes, scissors, and glue. They also participate in a weekly musical education class that encourages listening, singing, and rhythms, with the use of body movements and musical instruments.
Social Emotional Learning & Physical Education

Beyond the body movement such as dancing and games that are part of daily activities, our Nursery students have a dedicated physical education class in the gym three times a week.

During this time, students learn how to move their body in space in relation to both PE equipment—benches, mats, tunnels, and balls of all shapes and sizes—and their teachers and peers. By the end of the school year, students have acquired the skills to be able to participate in sports games with simple rules.
Language Arts

Language Arts for Pre-K addresses Oral Language, Pre-Reading, and Fine Motor and Writing skills.

Oral language, a fundamental aspect of Pre-K, is the first step to reading and writing success. At The École, it is present throughout the day—in the language of the day—as well as in specific small-group language activities, such as vocabulary games or games that work on specific sentence structures.

In Pre-K, Reading tasks progressively become more complex. Students consolidate their name recognition skills and participate in various reading activities such as matching words, identifying specific letters, words and structures that are repeated in a familiar text, or matching the different forms of writing of some letters, mainly print and uppercase, with an introduction to script. We also begin to work on isolating and differentiating sounds in words, playing with rhyming, and discovering syllables.

In terms of Writing, in Pre-K, our students are introduced to more complicated graphismes like waves or curls. With these more advanced fine motor skills, they learn to write symbols and letters more precisely, to write their name accurately and independently, and to begin writing small words using letter-to-sound correspondence. Pre-K students will also begin to craft more complex stories and personal texts and understand the basic structures of a story (beginning, middle, end).

Math

Our Pre-K students engage in Math related activities throughout the day.

Skills that were introduced in Nursery are reinforced and the activities become more complex. Students work on larger numbers and have a better sense of number order, sort objects according to more complicated categories, explore more spatial relationships in greater detail, complete puzzles with more pieces and play games with more rules.
Science

For Pre-K students, Science consists mainly of observing and exploring the world around them as well as discovering and experimenting with simple objects and scientific tools.

As part of our scientific activities, the children make observations, ask questions about what they see, voice hypotheses, observe and record results to experiments, and learn to make observational drawings. We teach them to look for information in age-appropriate non-fiction books and expose them to the use of computers and iPads through educational apps.
Art

Art enables our Pre-K students to express themselves while mastering different tools that develop their fine motor skills.

They explore different materials and techniques for drawing, painting, modeling and collaging while learning to observe, describe and get inspiration from artwork and famous artists in relation to our themes. Performance art activities such as singing, dancing, or music are also offered weekly.
Social Emotional Learning & Physical Education

Pre-K students participate daily in activities that develop gross motor skills and enable the children to become more aware of their bodies and to move in different spaces, while often reinforcing academic concepts in a fun way.

In addition, they have three 30-minute sessions of physical education in the gym every week in which they navigate obstacle courses built by the teachers and participate in individual and cooperative games with simple rules.
Language Arts

French System

French Language Arts for Kindergarten students is focused on mobilizing language in all its dimensions. Children will practice graphic design and writing, will discover the alphabetic principle, the phonology, they will exchange and express oneself orally, communicate, structure language and learn syntactic structures.

American System

English Language Arts for Kindergarten is focused in large part on building the capacity to read short books and recognize anywhere from 50-100 sight words. We accomplish this by studying phonological awareness, print concepts, fluency, phonics, and word recognition. Our Kindergarten students also begin a deeper exploration and progression into the subjects of writing, language, speaking, and listening.
Math

French System

In Math in French, Kindergarten children will start building the first tools to structure one's thinking. They will start the numeration and quantity, they will discover shapes and quantities, they will learn counting and decomposition of numbers, assemblies, and solids, and begin the discovery of algorithms.

American System

In Math in English in Kindergarten, the students will be learning the concepts of addition and subtraction as well as counting & cardinality, operations & algebraic thinking, measurement & data, geometry, and number & operations in base ten.
Science

French System

The main objectives of Kindergarten are schooling, socialization and early learning. Children will learn to understand and express themselves with physical activities. They will start to explore the world by discovering the notions of time, space, objects, matter, and life.

American System

Science in English for Kindergarten is integrated into reading, writing and math activities and explored in focused projects. We use whole-class setting experiments and workshops to encourage each student’s scientific exploration.
Art

French System

The main objectives of kindergarten are schooling, socialization and early learning. Children will learn how to understand and express themselves through artistic activities. They will practice visual arts, listen to music, discover rhythm, they will sing, play music, and explore cinema.

American System

Art in English for Kindergarten is integrated into reading, writing and math activities and explored in focused projects. We use a variety of different artistic mediums—song, dance, drawing, painting to capture their creative imagination.
Social Emotional Learning & Physical Education

French System

The main objectives of kindergarten are schooling, socialization and early learning. Children will learn to understand and express themselves with physical activities. They will play different sports and perform several motor and aesthetic activities.

American System

Throughout our regular activities, our Kindergarten students will be encouraged to work on their social and emotional skills, focusing on the development of such competencies as adjustment, attitude, and communication. They will also participate in physical education classes on a daily basis to strengthen their large & fine motor skills and become familiar with team sports.

Questions about our Maternelle curriculum?

Virginie Martin Muggeo and Samia Djaafar

If you’re interested in learning more about our early learning curriculum for Maternelle students, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re very proud of our program and would love to answer any questions you may have or discuss in more detail how your child can benefit from a bilingual education at The École.

Virginie Martin Muggeo and Samia Djaafar