A coordinated program for physical education (P.E.) and wellness during early childhood is critical to a comprehensive educational program. Discovering the joy of physical activity and healthy living at a young age can measurably impact a child’s intellectual and personal growth.
With a focus on nutrition, cooperative play, teamwork, and good sportsmanship, Preschool-3 and Junior Kindergarten students participate in an enrichment program specifically designed for preschool aged children. Guided by the talents of St. Peter’s director of athletics, the program creates an atmosphere that motivates young children. Through activities that refine movement and motor skills, students develop strength, endurance, balance, cardio-respiratory fitness, speed, and agility. The program also emphasizes healthy life choices, promotes nutritional foods, and introduces international games such as cricket.
Children who are healthy and physically active increase their chances of achieving to their highest academic potential and are better able to handle the demands of today’s hectic schedules. In addition to their regular P.E. and Wellness classes, preschool students have a daily schedule that includes designated recess times.
Preschool-3 and Junior Kindergarten attend a weekly chapel service on Wednesday morning. During the 30-minute program, young children sit in a circle outside the St. Peter’s nave and participate in lessons about morality, character, and personal values. Parents are welcome to attend.
At St. Peter’s preschool students engage in a wide range of fine arts and performing arts. Students discover the arts of other cultures, develop their creative voice, and experiment with their imaginations. From painting to pottery and sketching to sculpting; from creating kitchen confections to raising their voices in chorus; from performing on stage to playing an instrument, St. Peter’s nurtures the artistic spirit of its youngest and most relentlessly curious students.
Visual art should be an integral component of every child’s early learning experience. Exposure to visual art in preschool not only contributes to a child’s artistic and creative growth but also to the development of perceptual, cognitive, language, and social skills.
Preschool-3 and Junior Kindergarten students are the most prolific artists at St. Peter’s. Our youngest students explore their artistic talents in the classroom and during enrichment class taught by our art teacher in the St. Peter’s Art Studio. The intent is to awaken and challenge fresh minds to be aesthetically aware and relentlessly expressive. Art encourages children to animate their endless imaginations, which inspires their creative processing for collaboration, problem-solving and decision-making. Art becomes a common language of varied media through which children can express their ideas and cultivate a discerning sensibility toward their visual environment.
Like the visual arts, music should be an integral component of every child’s early learning experience. Music impacts the developing child by offering opportunities for social interaction, emotional articulation, creative expression, language development, and physical fitness.
At St. Peter’s, Preschool-3 and Junior Kindergarten students become musical virtuosos every day. Incorporating music into Spanish immersion, literacy, science, and math is a part of the daily routine. Not only do students musically engage during in the classroom, they also attend an enrichment class taught by our music teacher in the school’s Music Conservatory. Through interactive, engaging lessons, students explore movement, rhythm, and pitch through a variety of musical styles. They sing familiar songs, learn new songs and write lyrics to new songs. They learn about the lives of classical composers and contemporary musicians and about the various instruments used to create music.
Intentional music education during the preschool years energizes the nervous system and stimulates the neural pathways associated with higher forms of intelligence as abstract thinking, empathy, and mathematics. Music directly contributes to the development of spatial-temporal reasoning, which is the cognitive capacity that influences reading, verbal competence, and writing aptitude.
Pertaining to young children, the dramatic arts can better be described as dramatic play, and experts agree that dramatic play is pivotal to the early learning process. Dramatic play capitalizes on a child’s innate and willing enthusiasm for roleplaying. The art of theater is a medium through which all young children begin to understand the complexities of life.
At. St. Peter’s, all the world is a stage in the Preschool-3 and Junior Kindergarten classrooms. Without reservation, young children will mentally, emotionally, and physically immerse themselves in dramatic enactments. This bountiful capacity is a platform from which teachers introduce the dramatic arts. Students act as characters in familiar stories or create scenarios from their life experiences. These activities build memory, prompt creative expression, expand language, grow self-esteem, promote organizational thinking and develop social skills.
St. Peter’s has a long-standing tradition for exceptional theatrical productions, and every year, Preschool-3 and Junior Kindergarten students invite audiences to attend performances presented on the fabled St. Peter's stage. Because the dramatic arts enrich learning, young students participate in the entire production process. Under the direction of a theater arts professional, students create dialogue, build sets, and design props.