Darlington School: Academics: Academics: Early Learning Academy

Darlington School

Why Start Your Education at Darlington?

Darlington School offers an innovative, more customized approach to early childhood education. Students who would traditionally enroll in pre-k, kindergarten or pre-first are instead part of Darlington’s Early Learning Academy, a program in which instruction is based on the students’ individual needs.

The Early Learning Academy exposes students to highly qualified teachers and teaching assistants who team teach a dynamic, cohesive curriculum. In addition, an Pre-K to 8 learning specialist is available to provide enrichment and remediation.

Teachers have the freedom to create lessons based on the unique needs of each student, and to evaluate and adjust when necessary. The scope and sequence of the curriculum are vertically integrated with Darlington’s entire academic program, providing a solid foundation for a successful academic career at the school. Additionally, students are exposed to the teaching and learning styles that are best suited for their individual needs.

Students work collaboratively during the week in the areas of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. They often work in small, performance-based groups, allowing teachers to build lessons that take into account various levels of performance and build on the students’ strengths. Students may work across the grades, when appropriate, to solidify and enhance the curriculum.

Early Learning Academy students are fully immersed in a reading readiness program that builds a solid foundation for Reading and Writer’s Workshop, which are used in grades K-5 at Darlington. Writing instruction begins early, with lessons that focus on improving fine motor skills and creative writing.

The math curriculum empowers students to explore mathematical topics through investigation, data gathering, analysis, drawing, and more. Teachers use centers and small-group activities, conceptual language, and real-world examples to help students grasp age-appropriate concepts.

Relying heavily on hands-on experience, science, and social studies lessons are fully integrated with reading and math. Designed to expand the child’s experiences in the natural world, topics are introduced through discussions, observations and experimentation. Field trips are also coordinated throughout the year to extend the learning that takes place in the classroom.

Students begin the school day with “Morning Meeting,” which includes the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance as well as Darlington’s motto and mission. The students also focus on daily character traits and learn what the day will entail. Most importantly, the Early Learning Academy creates a solid foundation that allows students to express themselves creatively and build friendships, all while collaborating and learning with others.

Program Highlights

  • Accounts for various levels of performance through a customized curriculum
  • Utilizes small-group instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic
  • Allows students to progress at their own pace
  • Exposes all students to four highly qualified teachers
  • Provides structured classroom time with peers of the same age
  • Integrates life skills and character education
  • Builds creative, collaborative learners

If you are looking for a pre-K or kindergarten program, download the "13 Essential Questions for Choosing a Pre-School." This free guide covers all the questions you must consider when choosing a pre-school, and offers you information on Darlington's Early Learning Academy. Use the printable worksheet to evaluate Darlington and other pre-schools for yourself.

The Early Learning Academy has a limited enrollment. For more information or to enroll your child, please contact Jennifer Bagby in the Admission Office.





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