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Primary Circle
(Pre-K & Kindergarten)

Children learn as much from each other as they learn from their teachers.At Westtown, this is the educational belief at the foundation of our mixed age class of Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, called Primary Circle.

Research indicates that in mixed-age classes children are often:

  • More social
  • More likely to practice leadership skills
  • Better known by their teachers
  • More likely to resolve their conflicts peacefully

Our focus is on the whole child, so how they develop socially is as important as how they develop intellectually. In Primary Circle, Kindergartners model how to care for another classmate and how to resolve conflicts for their Pre-Kindergarten friends. Pre-Kindergartners observe more sophisticated patterns of behavior and learn to collaborate at an earlier age. Kindergartners practice leadership skills while Pre-Kindergartners feel the comfort of being cared for.

Our program has every benefit of separated Pre-K and K classes, but offers so much more. Our rotating two-year curriculum ensures that material is fresh for all students. It accelerates academic learning while keeping the social curriculum developmentally appropriate. For children in the second year of the program, this means the beginning of the year is not about transition, it's about hitting the ground running academically. First year students benefit from having added 'teachers' around them; confidence and leadership are modeled for them. Students who have gone through the program often enter first grade at higher reading levels, with more sophisticated handwriting skills and a better understanding of math concepts.

More than that, however, is what they gain within themselves. The freedom and comfort afforded them in this unique environment fosters self reliance. Self reliance is borne out of the seamless structure and support that is given them by teachers who understand developmental milestones. It is the mastery of our teachers that makes Primary Circle exceptional.

Learn more about Teacher Nicole

Faculty Profile - Nicole Vonnahme from Westtown School on Vimeo.