La Maternelle is the early childhood/kindergarten program of The French American School of Tampa Bay. Instruction occurs completely in French, and the curriculum follows the model of the world-renowned Ecoles Maternelles of France. Because we believe the blossoming of each child happens by developing his/her strengths and creativity, La Maternelle combines song, play, art, and movement with structured learning in the classroom. Through activities that challenge and captivate young children, we instill a life-long desire to learn and create.
The areas of concentration below outline the subjects that our La Maternelle students will study. A detailed curriculum schedule for Petite Section (3 years old), Moyenne Section (4 years old) and Kindergarten is available through the school.
Music Arts and Suzuki
At its inception, the school’s vision centered upon the relationship between music education and the immersion process of learning a second language. They are partners in a full education. Though the national trend is to reduce this component of education, we believe that a strong music art curriculum lays the foundation for strong mathematical and scientific intelligence. All grade levels at The French American School of Tampa Bay are immersed in our Music Arts Program, which includes Music Mind Games, the Choral Program and an opportunity for private Suzuki lessons.
Music Mind Games: This is a method of teaching music theory and appreciation through non-competitive, imaginative games. Starting in Pre-K, weekly instruction teaches beginning to advanced music theory concepts, including the musical alphabet, intervals, reading rhythms, rhythm math, dictation, the grand staff, musical symbols, tempos, scales, key signatures and chords. Innate in the Music Mind Games method is a duel respect for student’s intelligence and the logical organization of music theory.
Suzuki Program: The immersion method is Listen and Learn. The Suzuki method is the same. We’re proud to work in collaboration with the Maine Suzuki Association to offer our students private, on-site Suzuki lessons in piano, guitar, violin and cello. Parent involvement is required for private lessons.
The French American School of Tampa Bay incorporates the benefits of our natural setting into the fabric of our students’ education. The playground and outdoor campus is as much a part of the learning environment as are the indoor classrooms. We put a high value on the play experience and the multiple benefits of daily exercise, and we recognize that the socialization of recess and shared activity teaches important life lessons about respecting and supporting one another.
Throughout the school year, all students participate in physical education/gross motor activities, and of course, recess. Best of all, the nearby beaches provide opportunities for impromptu explorations.
Our school views the arts as a fundamental part of cultural and language education. Integrated with the curriculum, visual arts projects and techniques are discovered in concert with what are typically seen as academic subjects.
In La Maternelle, playful hands-on exploration through the visual arts is emphasized. Concepts of colors, black and white, three-dimensional creations, lines, forms, textures and a wide range of media are explored each year with specific educational goals for the progression of their skills. We encourage free creativity without strict guidance, giving children the opportunity for their own discoveries in the context of art.