An independent, coeducational PK-Grade 12 private school located in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia

Prekindergarten (3-year-olds)

PK teacher and student painting

Where the journey begins

The prekindergarten experience at Fredericksburg Academy is like no other. Our faculty ignite the natural curiosity and wonder of these three-year-olds through play-based learning. Prekindergarten students are part of the school community and have the same opportunities as their older peers, from foreign language instruction to performing onstage in the Upper School Reed Theater.

Responsive Classroom

All classrooms in our Lower School use this research-based teaching approach, which is based on the idea that children learn best when they have both academic and social-emotional skills. Responsive Classroom's guiding principle is that knowing the children we teach is as important as knowing the content we teach. Each class activity helps children learn the skills of cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control.

Language Arts

Through discussion, print exploration, use of many writing tools, hands-on letter awareness, and dramatic play, our faculty help children embrace the value and wonder of language. Our students:

  • observe and use correct clear language to foster communication skills
  • use writing tools (crayons, pencils, markers, paint brushes) to develop and support eye-hand coordination and small/fine motor control
  • work with interesting and diverse materials to create a stimulus for language exploration
  • play to support the social aspects of language development

Math

Through counting, patterns, shapes, comparison, spatial skills, and directions, we inquire and explore mathematical concepts in daily life.

Science

Children explore and question the world around them every day through inquiry-based activities. Students observe weather, mix paint colors to see what will happen, care for classroom pets as they learn about the animal kingdom, garden to learn about sustainability, and watch the metamorphosis of a butterfly.

Social Studies

Children learn independence, empathy, and collaboration as a member of their class. They also develop cultural awareness and respect for others through their daily activities.

Art

PK artists begin to appreciate the visual arts by creating it themselves in many forms. Students:

  • Discover the magic of color
  • Experiment with different materials including watercolor paint, modeling clay, printmaking, and drawing
  • Explore basic art styles and illustrators
  • Play with lines and shapes on paper, wood, and canvas
  • Recognize two artworks by name and artist
  • Show artwork in a student gallery for special events
  • Most importantly, have fun with the process of artistic expression

Foreign Language and Culture

Children begin learning languages in Early Childhood at FA. We introduce a semester each of French and Spanish through songs, poems, games, and activities in a weekly class. They:

  • describe colors, families, body parts, and more
  • use simple expressions
  • learn about culture by talking about and experiencing traditions and events from around the world

Library

Literature is a large part of FA's curriculum. The librarian visits with the children and brings books to the class each week and helps them develop their respect and love for books. They learn:

  • how illustrations support a story
  • how libraries support the work they do in the classroom
  • the parts of a book
  • taking care of books, turning the pages carefully

Music and Movement

Young musicians expand their love for music and rhythm in a weekly class. Students:

  • walk, gallop, skip, clap, and use hand and finger movements to build gross and fine motor skills
  • learn age-appropriate songs and dances that enhance classroom lessons
  • identify pitch by picking out high and low sounds
  • practice rhythms and play hand-held musical instruments
  • showcase their talents and self-confidence throughout the year in their own musical production and in all Lower School programs

Physical Education

Students build healthy habits to last a lifetime. Children:

  • develop fine and gross motor skills by stretching, running, hopping, and learning some animal walks
  • practice taking turns and self-control by playing games
  • learn the benefits of physical activity

Technology

Children use technology to practice their motor skills and reinforce their lessons. Students:

  • visit the STEM lab to use technology such as the makey makey
  • work on fine motor and academic skills using the interactive projector
  • use tablets in their classroom to help with academic and social emotional skills, from learning letters and numbers to practicing sharing

Program Snapshot

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  • Full-week, partial-week, full-day, and half-day options available
  • Lead teacher and associate teacher in each class
  • 14 students maximum per classroom
  • Curriculum designed to build social skills, increase confidence, and teach age-appropriate concepts through play
  • Weekly enrichment schedule including music and movement, art, physical education, foreign language (French and Spanish), and library class, as well as participating in nature/gardening activities
  • Participation in school traditions and many opportunities to be connected to the greater school community
  • Three opportunities to perform on stage for parents and the FA community