Colette McWilliams: Specialist programs add richness and depth to our academic offerings
Matt Allio: We teach to the genius in each child
Trinity School students have many opportunities to grow their voice and practice public speaking. Starting in Kindergarten, students present to the whole school community several times throughout the year. In this way, they gain confidence and a strong sense of self.
Social-Emotional Learning is embedded in all aspects of the Kindergarten Curriculum. Our aim is to teach our students the process through which people:
- learn to recognize and manage emotions
- care about others
- make good decisions
- behave ethically and responsibly
- develop positive relationships
- avoid negative behaviors
We have partnered with the Institute for Socio-Emotional Development to ensure program continuity and that each member of our faculty and staff share common language and understanding for the importance of this work.
Learn more about the Institute for Social-Emotional Learning
Recognizing the benefits of choice, Trinity offers a variety of ways for students to play during recess. Here are some of the options that Kindergarteners have to collaborate and engage with one another during their breaks:
- Open outdoor play
- Organized Games
- Art Room – Open Studio
- Science Room
- Design Thinking/ Maker Space
- Music Room
Teacher Blogs – Teachers post a weekly blog full of classroom information and curriculum updates.
Photos – We share photos using a photo-sharing tool program called Vidigami. This tool allows us to protect student/ family privacy and allow parents to add their photos to collections.
Conferences – There are two official conference periods each year, fall and spring. Parents are welcome to initiate a conference at any point in the year.
Open Communication – We believe a true partnership between home serves to benefit the children we serve. Teachers and administrators will always find time to meet, exchange an email, or arrange a phone call.
The Science and Garden curriculum invites students to make meaningful connections to the world around them. Children’s natural curiosity meets the wonders of scientific discovery.
Learning takes place in the science room, in the garden, and in other natural spaces around campus as well as through field trips. We study physical science, biology and ecology, and the process of science through the following interdisciplinary units: The Five Senses, Trees, Tree Communities, Rain Forests, Light, Vertebrates, Ponds, Paper Plane Design Butterflies, Weather, Human Body, and Ant Communities.
By the end of the year, Kindergarten students will begin to answer the following questions:
Which tools help me look more closely at the world?
What is the role of light in our world?
How does science connect to my life?
How do we organize our ideas to share our discoveries?
How does science connect to my life?
Why is a habitat important to living things?
What are the systems in our bodies that help us survive?
How can use design thinking to design a paper plane?
Music is a uniquely human experience that gives students structured opportunities for self-expression and social interaction through singing, playing instruments, creative movement, song games, and dances.
Music supports early literacy in kindergarten using syllabic song dotting, word recognition and word-finding, and ideographic scores. We discuss the lyrics of folk songs to discover stories rooted in different historical, social and cultural situations, and to learn new vocabulary and concepts.
In our music classes we explore the following questions:
What makes a good listener?
What makes a good musician?
What do I notice when I listen to music?
How can I interpret music with my body?
How can I sort different sounds, different instruments?
How can I represent this sound with a symbol?
What patterns do I hear/see?
How can I work together to make music with my friends?
Service Learning is at the heart of Trinity School. It is student-driven in that the students
select general categories about which they are passionate and brainstorm ways to help and
specifics for pre-selected projects.
In Kindergarten we have one student-selected project: a coat drive. They also make lunches for people experiencing homelessness to start off service learning in tangible ways. Kindergartners participate in presentations, activities, and collections for all-school projects organized by Grades 3-5.
Some of the questions we explore in Service-Learning in Kindergarten are:
What are the problems we know about people, animals, or our earth?
Who or what are we interested in helping?
What are the different things people or our earth need?
What could we do, make, or give to help?
Why should we help others who we don’t even know?
Why should we help our earth?
What would I feel like if I was in this situation?
Design Thinking in the Kindergarten class focuses on the stages of the design process and how each stage leads to the next.
Students are encouraged to form a plan from their inspiration and work through their design with a focus on the materials they will use. Coding lessons are also used to encourage the use of planning and revision to eventually achieve a successful result.
We want every child to love books and to find, evaluate, and use information in the course of
their projects and individual pursuits.
The library program includes reading literature from all genres; highlighting many authors and illustrators; showcasing books related to classroom curriculum, special projects, and major Bay Area cultural events; practicing information search strategies, & helping students & their families find new and interesting books to read recreationally.
Commonly Held Beliefs:
• Reading is a window to the world.
• Ethical behavior in the use of information must be taught.
• Learning has a social context.
• Technology skills are crucial for future employment.
• Equitable access is a key component of education.
• The definition of information literacy has become more complex as resources & technologies have changed.
• The continuing expansion of information demands that all individuals acquire the thinking skills that will enable them to learn.
• Inquiry provides a framework for learning on their own.
• Learning has a social context.
• School libraries are essential to the development of learning skills.
Physical Education for Kindergarten focuses on the core concepts of motor and movement skills, as well as the introduction of cooperative behavior, shared goal, and exploring health topics such as nutrition and hygiene.
Essential Questions Include:
What is appropriate social behavior? How does my behavior impact others?
What is personal space? How is it different from general space?
How will participation and cooperation lead to a successful experience for all?
How do we gain confidence in our ability to control our movements in small and large spaces?
What is sportsmanship?
How are social skills developed through cooperative activities?
The art program is designed to teach children to be creative problem solvers and thinkers. They learn about their culture and the greater world through art.
The students learn technical skills through the main concepts of line, shape, color, value, form, multi-cultural art, artist study, and three-dimensional art. They learn about patterns and lines. About the difference between natural and man-made shapes and about primary & secondary colors, light and dark colors and the difference between two and three dimensions. We learn about ourselves and the world through art from other countries. Throughout the year we learn the proper techniques to create with pens, pencils, paper, printmaking, watercolors, pastels, clay, plaster, tempera, and recycled materials.
Our Spanish program aims to inspire a love of language and a deep connection to Spanish culture.
In Kindergarten, it is carefully structured to build fluency in listening and recognizing basic words in Spanish. The program is designed to meet the needs of beginners to advanced learners. The students will be exposed to a variety of materials and learning approaches. We will explore the Spanish language through the use of music, literature, and games.
Students will learn basic greetings, colors, and numbers.