Early Education (PreK4)

Early Education (PreK4)

The underlying instructional strategy in early education throughout preschool is the use of organized and free-play activities that are intended to provide opportunities for the child to interact, explore and relate successfully in his/her environment.

The preschool program uses multi-sensory hands-on learning approach to teach fine motor skills, auditory and visual learning using center time, books, songs, technology, and art. Free play, story time, show and tell, music, crafts, and outdoor play fill the students’ day. Children attend prayer services, participate in community service projects and are provided many cultural arts activities.

Parents are confident in knowing their children are being educated in a comfortable and nurturing environment which provides an educational curriculum that allows children to achieve their highest potential.

St. Philip Neri School follows the Archdiocese of Baltimore Early Childhood Course of Study, adapted from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  We recognize that an early childhood program is essential to a child’s spiritual, social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.  By state regulation, we require a child entering PreK must be four years old by 9/1 of the current school year. Parents have the option to pick either a full or a part-time program.  Part-day students are still five days a week, but dismiss at 12:15 PM each day.


Although no two days are alike in PreK, teachers follow a schedule that allows the children to adapt to a routine.

  • Circle Time – Prayer, music, stories, movement, calendar, weather, plans for the day.
  • Work & Play Time – Children will rotate between play time in centers and work time.  Work time consists of one on one time or small group hands-on activities.  All children will have both work time and play time each day.
  • Clean Up
  • Review the day/Snack Time
  • Outside Play
    • Lunch
    • Quiet Time
    • Structured play, outside play or other enrichment activities
    • Dismissal at 2:45 p.m.

    Each day the children will do many hands-on activities in religion, art, math and language.  Students learn to  cook, do science experiments, visit the school library and gym, and sometimes the computer lab.

    School Activities

    The PreK students will participate in as many school-wide activities as possible.  They will attend the Fall Festival, Santa’s Secret Workshop and Vince’s Flower-Walk.  PreK will have their own version of Field Day. To help the children during “big school” activities, PreK student are assigned a 7th Grader as their “buddy.”


    PreK has small parties for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and a year-end class picnic.

    Field Trips

    PreK students go on two field trips-one in October and one in the spring.  Parents are welcomed to attend but must be Virtus trained.

    Rest Time

    Children are required to have a short rest time.  Rest time last about thirty minutes.  The school will furnish a nap mat.  Children are allowed to bring from home a blanket and a small stuffed toy to rest with.  All rest time items are sent home each Friday for laundering.


    Parents need to provide two boxes of tissues, two bottles of hand sanitizer, two containers of Clorox wipes, and one box each-gallon and sandwich sized zipper top baggies.  Each child will also need a cardboard shoe box.  The school will furnish all other supplies.

    Outside Play

    The students will go outside everyday, weather permitting.

    Snacks and Lunch

    Children are to bring their own snack each day.  They can bring lunch from home or purchase lunch from our cafeteria.  School lunch costs $3.50 per day and will consist of a main dish, with fruit or vegetable.

    Specialty Subjects

    Specialized instructors in art, music, library, technology, Spanish, and physical education supplement instruction by classroom teachers.

    Dress Code

    PreK students are to wear the St. Philip Neri School gym uniform that can be purchased from Flynn & O’Hara uniform store.

    Subject Areas

    Found below is a listing of the areas of study with example content and essential skills.


    Released in 2011, “Bringing Good News” is the Archdiocese of Baltimore Religion Curriculum for Elementary Schools. This standards-based curriculum serves as a guide, a road map for both teachers and students as they embark on a journey, which will provide them with the knowledge and understanding of the faith as witnessed in the teachings and the traditions of the Catholic Church. The curriculum is built on the Six Tasks of Catechesis: Promoting Knowledge of the Faith; Liturgical Education; Moral Formation; Teaching to Pray; Education for Community Life; and Missionary Initiation and is aligned with the Assessment of Catholic Religious Education (IFG:ACRE). By the completion of preschool, students will master a variety of skills including:

    • Identify self and my family as belonging to God’s family.
    • Identify the Bible as a special book about God.
    • Dramatize the stories about Jesus from the Bible, i.e. The Last Supper, The Christ Child in the Temple, The Good Samaritan.
    • Demonstrate how we show our love by using kind words and positive actions.
    • Participate in prayer with the family, alone, in class and at Church.
    • Identify the saints as God’s special friends who are part of the family of the Church in heaven.
    • Discover that God has made each of them special and that individual differences are gifts from God.
    • Understand when we help our family and friends we are showing love to others like Jesus did.

    The curriculum for all elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore include the following units:

    • Counting and Cardinality
    • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
    • Measurement and Data
    • Numbers and Operations in Base Ten
    • Geometry
    • Numbers and Operations

    Catholic educators never forget that our schools exist to bring our students to Christ. By continuing to implement new standards that are challenging, we work to fulfill the promise of quality Catholic education that educates the whole child, both mind and soul. By the completion of preschool, students will master a variety of skills including:

    • Count groups of objects to 10 in order to solve a problem.
    • Subitize: immediate recognition of the number of a group without counting.
    • Manipulate actual, physical objects to represent the problem when working on a solution (e.g. apples to represent apples).
    • Use measurement vocabulary when describing the attributes of objects.
    • Recognize shapes in their real-world environment.
    English Language Arts

    Revised in 2014, the English Language Arts Curriculum for the Archdiocese of Baltimore is designed using the Catholic, College and Career Ready clusters as its foundation. Through literature, this course of study fosters students’ Catholic identity, shaping them to be models of Christian living for others. This curriculum is fully integrated with our Catholic faith. We provide students with a curriculum that is rigorous and rich in literature, oral and written language, grammar, writing, vocabulary, informational literature, and multimedia/technology. By the completion of preschool, students will master a variety of skills including:

    • Exhibit curiosity and interest in learning new vocabulary (e.g. ask questions about unfamiliar vocabulary).
    • Describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
    • Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
    • Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
    • Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs describing the same general action (e.g., walk, march, strut, prance) by acting out the meanings.
    Additional Subject Areas

    While there are not defined standards in preschool for the following subject areas, Catholic schools offer exploration and introduction to the content that will be learned in future grade levels:

    • Science
    • Instructional Technology
    • Social Studies
    • Visual and Performing Arts
    • Physical Education/Health
    • World Languages