Primary I

The Preschool and Primary I atriums serve children ages 3-6 years of age. The young child is particularly capable of receiving and enjoying the essential Christian message—the love of God in the person of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

The curriculum focuses on the person of Jesus Christ and helping the child develop a deep, personal relationship with the Good Shepherd, who “calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” The parable of the Good Shepherd from the Gospel of John is the central narrative for the young child. This image of Jesus resonates with the young child’s sense of belonging, their state of dependence on adults, and their innocence and trust.

027Materials on the life of Christ help make the mystery of God concrete to the child. Geography materials help to establish Jesus as a real person in time and place. Small dioramas representing the Infancy Narratives (The Annunciation to Mary, The Visitation, The Adoration of the Shepherds, The Adoration of the Magi, The Presentation in the Temple) announce the Mystery of the Incarnation. The Scriptures are proclaimed and the child is invited to use the material and enter into reflection and meditation. The Paschal Narratives are proclaimed with the City of Jerusalem, the Last Supper, and the Empty Tomb. The death of Jesus is always linked with the Resurrection and the image of Jesus as light of the world.

The Kingdom Parables (The Mustard Seed, the Precious Pearl, The Leaven, etc.) unlock the secrets of God’s Kingdom and nurture the child’s sense of wonder and awe. The young child responds to the sensorial nature of these parables—The mustard seed—the smallest of all seeds! The incredible value of the pearl!

The young child is especially attuned to the liturgy. The atrium has a small, model altar on which the children arrange 028and name the chalice, patten, candles, crucifix, etc.—linking their experience with the celebration of Mass. The gestures of Mass are presented and repeated by the children, who learn well through movement and body language. The gift of Baptism is highlighted with gestures, ritual, and symbols.

Prayer and celebration hold an important place in the Preschool and Primary I atrium. Group time is spent at the prayer table, where children enjoy singing and praying aloud with one another. The prayer table reflects the liturgical season and special ritual celebrations take place at Epiphany, Palm Sunday, the Easter Season, and Pentecost. Children decorate the prayer table with flowers and pictures.


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Primary II


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