Appreciating Multiple Learning Styles

An inside look at the Arts-Integrated PreK/Kindergarten program at South Shore Conservatory

By Rachel White, Director of South Shore Conservatory’s Arts-Integrated Preschool/PreK/Kindergarten. July 11, 2022

Education isn’t one size fits all. At South Shore Conservatory (SSC), we realize this and strive to individualize our programs to what our students and families need. In a world where education is increasingly standardized and rigid, we strive to break the mold and provide young children with a well-rounded education and skills that they need to experience lasting success on their educational journey.

With this in mind, we created our Arts-Integrated Full Day PreK/Kindergarten Combo Class. It is a true Kindergarten program with an arts-integrated approach.  By making it a PreK/Kindergarten combination, we introduce older PreK students who are either ready for a challenge or just miss the K cut-off, to K-level material, assessing them at a PreK level. This program is also perfect for younger Kindergarten students who may want to repeat a year of PreK before entering Kindergarten, but are ready for more of a challenge, rather than just repeating a year of the same PreK curriculum.

Our arts-integrated approach to learning uses the arts as a tool to access learning and curriculum on a deeper level. This allows us to connect children to the material they are learning, making it much more meaningful and purposeful. We strive to provide young students with positive learning experiences early in their lives to foster their love of learning, so they continue on as successful students in future educational endeavors. Each week, students visit a variety of arts specialists, including percussion/drum specialists, general music specialists, dance/yoga specialists, visual arts specialists, and language/reading specialists. Specialists work with classroom teachers to help reinforce curriculum and themes they are exploring in the classroom. 

Our teachers are highly skilled in teaching mixed aged groups, and all work is individualized by student skill level. Older students take on roles as confident leaders while younger students are gently exposed to the kindergarten curriculum, putting them at an advantage for kindergarten the following year. They are comfortable taking academic risks and being creative. We assess our students using the same benchmarks as Hingham Public Schools, but the way in which we teach our materials is through the arts, making learning more applicable for our children. Almost every year, SSC students perform above and beyond normal expectations. 

It is our mission at the SSC Preschool/PreK/Kindergarten to raise the next generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers, and effective community members. We teach our students to think outside the box and encourage them to express themselves as individuals as well as members of a larger community. Through arts-integration, we give our children the tools to understand there is not just one, but many ways to learn. The more tools we give our students, the more likely learning is to occur.

Learn more about South Shore Conservatory’s Arts-Integrated Full Day PreK/Kindergarten Combo Class here.