The FMS curriculum follows the French National Curriculum. It is designed to lay solid foundations for future learning and starts children off with the learning habits necessary to become successful lifelong learners. It is organized around cycles that bridge children’s learning from preschool to Kindergarten and defines skills that children are expected to meet by the end of each year of the program.
The curriculum is organized around the Primary Skills (les Apprentissages Premiers). Each skill is essential to the child’s development and offers a core knowledge, which takes its roots in day-to-day experience, hands-on exploration, and authentic interaction.
The FMS curriculum emphasized the Shaping of Character through the teaching of five core virtues: honesty, openness, perseverance, responsibility and respect (H.O.P.R.R.).
Both language and writing are at the heart of the curriculum and aim at developing verbal skills as well as introducing the fundamentals of writing. Because literacy is a long process that needs both a strong phonemic awareness and a mastery of the alphabetical code, language uses and functions are introduced. Children learn to speak French where the language becomes a vector to access the national identity and culture.
This content area aims at opening children’s curiosity to the outside world. This is done through hands-on activities, field trips, observations and experiences of our physical and living worlds. Children will discover the world of mathematics, biology (i.e. earning about life cycles), earth sciences (i.e. learning about natural phenomenons), physics (i.e. space and time, material transformations), engineering (i.e. man-made inventions, how things work), chemistry (i.e. how liquids interact). It gives children the intellectual tools they need to describe, quantify, classify and organize the reality of facts.
As a first experience with school, the Maternelle sets an academic platform in which children will become life-long enthusiastic learners. It gives children the tools to adapt to a world of people, routines and rules and educates them to the concept of community through the understanding of the social structure and cooperation with others. Emphasis thoughout the three-year curriculum is given to autonomy, living together and school work.
Children will learn to explore their creative side through arts and crafts projects and will be introduced to the wonderful world of music. While painting and crafting provide children with a means of self-expression, performing arts such as music and acting teach children the value of sustained efforts to achieve excellence and the reward of hard work. They are offered throughout the curriculum as a way to strengthen the expression of emotions and self-confidence.
A curriculum wouldn’t be complete without proper emphasis on developing children’s gross motor skills. Physical well-being is important to learning. Daily outdoor recess and frequent walks to the neighborhood parks ensure that children develop their muscles with climbing, running, jumping, skipping, digging, etc. Indoor gymnastics such as yoga and creative movement are also offered as extra-curricular activities in the afternoons.
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