Early Childhood

The Early Childhood years are wonder years. Children are constructing knowledge, creating, experimenting, discovering, and learning from their environments and their interactions with teachers and peers.

Our inquiry-based approach to education fosters creativity, promotes academic excellence, develops human relationships, and inspires a growing passion for learning. With an introduction to whole schooling, each student can learn French, play music, experience field studies, participate in gross motor classes and so much more.


We offer four levels of instruction:


Children beginning Canterbury Kids must be 2 years old by August 1 of the year they enter the program.

The Canterbury Kids program provides a developmentally appropriate, nurturing and exploratory learning environment for children, 2-years-old (turning 3), as they develop independence and growth. Socialization is an important objective for Canterbury Kids. Through planned and guided experiences as well as through constructive independent play, the children develop an interest in their peers, learn to play cooperatively, and explore their environment and the natural world around them. Curricular experiences foster an interest in and awareness of language and of math and science concepts. Art, music and dramatic play activities develop independent and creative expression. Fine and gross motor skills are developed through movement, indoor and outdoor play as well through designed fine motor activities. Beginning mid-year, Canterbury Kids students participate in library, gross motor and music sessions taught by specialists.

Children are in class two days a week from 8:15 to 11 a.m. or from 12:15 to 3 p.m. Each class consists of generally nine to 10 students and is taught by a teacher with the help of a teaching assistant and an additional floating assistant. Two classes meet in the morning and two in the afternoon.



Children entering the Cavalier program must be 3 years old by August 1 of the year they enter the program.

The Cavalier program capitalizes on the natural curiosity of children, 3-years-old (turning 4), and the world around them. Cavaliers build on the foundation established in the Canterbury Kids program. Children feel secure in routines established in the classroom, are responsible for the care of their belongings and assume some simple classroom chores. Skills and concepts are integrated through dramatic play, stories, songs, group time and planned learning centers. Pre-literacy, math, science and social studies activities are integrated into all aspects of the curriculum. Cavalier students attend library, gross motor, music, French, and outdoor classroom classes taught by specialist.

Cavalier students need to be potty-trained by August 1 of the year they enter the program. Classes meet three days a week from 8:15 to 11 a.m. or from 12:15 to 3 p.m., with two classes offered in the morning and two in the afternoon. Each class is generally 12-13 students taught by a teacher and a teaching assistant.



Children entering Junior Kindergarten must be 4 years old by August 1 of the year of their admission.

In a project based, developmentally-appropriate environment, the Junior Kindergarten student (4-years-old) learns by questioning, creating and constructing knowledge throughout integrated thematic units. These units introduce math, science, literacy and social studies concepts and provide the basis for fine motor skills, large motor skills, music and art activities. As the year progresses, Junior Kindergarten students become more self-confident and goal-oriented as they develop the social-emotional and academic readiness for Kindergarten. Junior Kindergarten students attend library, music, French, outdoor classroom and gross motor classes taught by specialists.

Junior Kindergarten classes meet five days a week from 8:15 to 11 a.m. or from 12:15 to 3 p.m., with two classes offered in the morning and two classes in the afternoon. Each Junior Kindergarten class is generally 14-15 students and is taught by a teacher with the help of a teaching assistant.




Kindergarten Prep is a unique opportunity available to children who have completed Junior Kindergarten and the Kindergarten screening process, but who would benefit from an additional year of development before full-day Kindergarten.

Kindergarten Prep is a bridge between the Early Childhood and Lower School programs. The curriculum is organized around a series of thematic units into which language, reading, math, science, social studies and arts instruction are integrated. Kindergarten Prep’s program builds on Junior Kindergarten with further language development in terms of phonemic awareness, letter recognition and formation, vocabulary and literature.

The math curriculum incorporates math experiences throughout the entire day. Questioning, observing, predicting, experimenting and drawing conclusions are the keys to scientific discovery in Kindergarten Prep as children explore scientific phenomena in their environment.

Students entering Kindergarten Prep usually turn 5 during the spring or summer of the year of their admission. The class is generally 14-16 students, meeting daily from 8 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and is taught by a teacher with the help of a teaching assistant. Kindergarten Prep students participate in French, music, library and physical education classes taught by specialists.