Preschool : Maternelle
The Rochambeau Preschool, referred to as Maternelle, is not a nursery or daycare but truly a place of learning implementing the programs of the French Ministry of National Education.
The Rochambeau Maternelle welcomes children from age 2 (in Toute Petite Section or TPS) or age 3 (in Petite section or PS) through kindergarten (age 5).
The curriculum is organized over 3 or 4 school years. The Maternelle is the initial learning cycle, more commonly known cycle one. An English language program allows children to be fully integrated in their American speaking environment.
The main objective of the first two years are to develop language skills and learn to live in the community that the school and the classroom represent. The curriculum focuses on:
• Getting comfortable with expressing himself/herself verbally and discovering writing
• Living together and learning to become student
• Developing gross and fine motor skills while getting a sense for his or her body's abilities
• Discovering the world
• Perceiving, feeling, imagining, creating
The learning periods will allow children to explore the world through play and hands-on activities, and to develop their sensory experiences, motor, emotional and intellectual skills. Carefully crafted activities will be combined with the programs of the French Ministry of National Education to optimize learning. The skills learned in Cycle 1 are a strong and essential foundation for entering elementary school.
The English language program is blended in the daily schedule at all levels but in the 2 year class ( where the program is only in French).
English is integrated in science, sports, music, literature and arts, and other class projects. It is organized in two ways:
• English periods (with one English teacher for 1 hour and 15mins)
• Bilingual periods (with one French and one English teacher for a 50 min session)
Bilingual sessions are designed to allow students to make connections between their native language and the language they are learning. They rely on the latter to understand the other and progressively increase their level in both languages.
This educational in parallel allows students to discover the cultures and languages of both countries preparing them to become citizens of the world who are both curious and respectful of differences.