Walk into any Kindergarten-Grade 3 class at Calgary Academy and you will experience a group of young minds full of fun, excitement, and wonder. The sounds of laughter and a flurry of small but mighty voices interacting with classmates and their engaged teachers echo the halls. From classroom walls adorned with a colourful array of projects, student birthdays, and the latest lesson, to personalized hallway cubbies with each student’s personal touch of school bags, shoes, and even stuffed animals, Early Years at CA is not just about learning. It’s the culmination of soft skills that are shaping these young learners to gain the skills in creativity, playing, and making friends that will ultimately shape them into the people they become.
The Kindergarten program was launched in 2019, and so began the possibility that students could experience their entire Kindergarten to Grade 12 education at CA. While every grade has its own unique purpose and path to shaping learners, these early grades are now known to be some of the most impactful that a student experiences in their life.
Ms. Chatt, who has been teaching in the Early Years program for three years and currently teaches Grade 2-3, approaches her work knowing how impactful it is in shaping learners into adulthood.
“The Early Years program teaches foundational numeracy and literacy skills, helps create positive associations with school, and it’s the time when students learn to become advocates for their needs. This is the most important period to establish a love of learning that stays with them.” – Ms. Chatt
A day in the life of an Early Years student includes their core subjects of literacy, numeracy, social studies, and science. Through hands-on learning, students will build their understanding of these foundational-level subjects. Then it’s off to physical education and their selected options. From music, multimedia, art, or drama, students are given the autonomy from a young age to explore their passions. There are multiple opportunities to get outdoors each day, through recess and times for exploration, which in our class are called Wonder Walks.
“The biggest change I see in students is in their confidence, self-advocacy, and understanding of themselves as learners and people. When students first come into the class at the start of the year, many of them are afraid to take risks out of fear of making mistakes.
Throughout the year, as we teach them about resiliency, growth mindset, and positive self-talk, students become more confident in their abilities and are more willing to try new and challenging things. The most rewarding thing as a teacher is that by the end of the year, students are independent, and see challenges as opportunities to grow and learn.” – Ms. Chatt
To learn more about CA’s Early Years, join one of our upcoming Open Houses. There will be a short presentation, a chance to meet our Early Years teaching staff, a guided tour, and lots of opportunities to answer all your questions. You can RSVP here.