Toddler (3)The Preschool atrium serves children ages 18 months to 3 years of age. It is designed to be a developmentally appropriate room where very young children can begin to live in their relationship with God.

This atrium is offered during the CCD time frame for children 2 and 3 years of age and during the 11:00 am Mass for children ages 18 months to 3 years old. The atrium offers a religious experience based on the holistic needs of children in this age group. It is designed to nurture their relationship with God and prepare them for a fuller participation in the life of the church.

We believe that parents are the first and most important catechists of their children and that the home is the ‘ecclesia domestica,’ where the child first hears the Gospel message through the love and care of parents and family. The preschool environment supports parents in their role as catechists and takes special care to provide what the young child needs physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually.

Children from birth to age 3 have three particular “sensitivities” that guide and influence their development and learning: order, movement, and language. Young children thrive on routine and ‘sameness.’ This sensitivity to order helps the child to discover and make sense of the world. It is important that children feel comfortable in their environment and that they experience little change without prior preparation. The preschool environment is simple and beautiful to allow the child to know what to expect and where to find what he/she wants.

Toddler (2)Even in the womb, the child is moving and using all parts of the body. As the baby grows, it is essential that he/she experience multiple opportunities to interact with the environment through movement. Research has shown that there is a dramatic link between movement and the development of brain cells. The preschool atrium allows for continuous movement and development of large and small motor skills. Children are free to move about the room and choose activities with which to work. Materials and activities on the shelf are designed to aid the child in development of motor skills. Tables, stools, and shelves are low to the ground, allowing the child to become independent and self-reliant.

Toddler (1)Children learn language by absorption. As the child listens to people, the sounds and words are stored in a special part of the brain. Language just seems to emerge from the child, beginning with simple sounds, then words, and finally full sentences and thoughts. The preschool environment speaks to this sensitivity to language by surrounding the child with the rich language of the church. The names of sacred vessels are presented. The Word of God is read and spoken in prayer. The language of gestures (movements) are also presented to the young child, such as the Sign of the Cross.

In the preschool atrium, children learn through purposeful movement and discovery. This helps to provide a foundation for the succeeding atrium environments, as well as nurturing the child’s relationship with Jesus, the Good Shepherd.


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Primary I

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Visit The Preschool Atrium Environment

Preschool Atrium Candids