Early Childhood

Our Early Childhood Center is for girls ages 2 through Senior Kindergarten. St. Mary's Place, for 2's and young 3's, is a Reggio Emilia inspired program using a co-teaching model. All of our Early Childhood students attend Spanish two to three times per week, art, music, pre-ballet, STEM, and a weekly chapel service.


In the Early Childhood, our philosophy is simple: we believe all children are capable, curious, and creative, and that play is the essential work of childhood.

I believe there is a “magic” to St. Mary’s and our unique school. The bedrock of our community is made up of the relationships that exist between the people who call St. Mary’s home. I see this every day in the meaningful connections that are formed across all areas of our community. These connections start in the Early Childhood Center with girls ages 2 through Senior Kindergarten.

The curriculum used in St. Mary's Place is influenced by Reggio Emilia principles. We seek to facilitate the overall development of our youngest students through discovery- based learning. By inspiring our students’ natural curiosity and inclination to learn, we facilitate our students’ senses of autonomy and self-reliance.

We use an emergent curriculum in Pre-Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten, and Senior Kindergarten that incorporates the interests of the students. Integrated into daily lessons and projects, our girls learn to:

  • build upon her natural sense of wonder

  • investigate the world around her

  • explore new concepts and ideas

  • engage in meaningful play

  • cooperate in a group

  • practice communicating effectively with others

  • develop a sense of autonomy

A great emphasis is placed on the development of all areas of literacy; written language, spoken language, and listening. Focusing on beginning writing and reading readiness skills, we introduce our girls to a wealth of literature and give them opportunities to engage in the creative process of telling their own stories.

Our math program is a developmental program that encourages an interest in mathematic concepts. Basic concepts are introduced and taught through interactive experiences that emphasize the use of mathematics everyday. This "hands on" approach to math has proven to be both effective and enjoyable.

Technology as a tool is integrated into and supports our program in a meaningful and appropriate way. Our program is enhanced by special subject areas that include Spanish, Physical Education, Creative Movement, Music, Art, Science, and Library.

Early Childhood's weekly Chapel service and on-going character education program, fondly called A Bridge to Caring, not only nurtures our students spiritually, but allows students to reach beyond themselves to discover the importance of respect, kindness, courage, thankfulness, honesty, and cooperation. These timeless values are woven into our academic curriculum on a daily basis, creating a learning environment that honors the whole child.

Laura Hutton
Head of Early Childhood
lhutton@stmarysschool.org

ECC Office Contact
Jacinta Miller
jmiller@stmarysschool.org
901-537-1456