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 mindfulness, 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 and promotes nutritional foods.
Children who are healthy and physically active increase their chances of achieving 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 20-minute program, preschool and kindergarten students gather together in the Nave, where they participate in lessons regarding God's love for all persons and respect of other faith customs. Parents are welcome to attend.
At St. Peter’s, preschool students engage in a wide range of fine 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 music; from performing on stage to playing an instrument, St. Peter’s nurtures the artistic and curious spirit of its youngest students.
,Visual art is an integral component of the early learning experience at St. Peter's. 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.
Our youngest students explore their artistic talents in the classroom as well as 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.
Similarly, music is an integral component of the 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. Students musically engage in the classroom as well as through interactive, engaging lessons in the Music Conservatory. Students explore movement, rhythm, and pitch through a variety of musical styles. 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 such 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, 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 each year, Preschool-3 and Junior Kindergarten students invite audiences to attend performances presented on the fabled St. Peter's stage.