Why Sacred Heart Preschool?
As the only International Baccalaureate (IB) preschool in the state of Kentucky, Sacred Heart Preschool is focused on the development of the whole child, preparing each student to become a compassionate, life-long learner. The IB Primary Years Programme recognizes that each child is capable and unique and fosters their natural curiosity and learning in creative, supportive, and collaborative environments. In our early childhood education, questioning and imagining are central to our play-based, concept-driven approach to learning. The questions of “why” and “how” are invited, embraced, and explored.
SHP believes children learn best through play and also pulls from educational approaches from Maria Montessori, Reggio-Emilia, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky among others. SHP’s IB framework for teaching and learning is based on the idea that learning happens best when students are responsible for their own learning. This is achieved successfully through hands-on, interactive (play-based) experiences instead of relying on rote memorization of facts.
Sacred Heart Preschool is located on the beautiful 48-acre Ursuline Campus, shared with three other campus schools and the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville. Sprawling green space, a performing arts center, athletic facilities, and outdoor community space allow for ample opportunities to explore outside the classroom. SHP also features fenced outdoor playgrounds with opportunities to climb, run, and play in nature. Additionally, we have large, indoor interactive play spaces that promote gross motor movement to enhance sensory integration and self-regulation.
Our school day program is not a Mother’s Day Out. Our curriculum is aligned with KY state standards and the IB’s best practices, scope, and sequences for each discipline to ensure kindergarten readiness. And at SHP, we achieve this with play at the center of all we do.
Play involves voice, choice, and ownership (promoting agency) and provides opportunities to inquire into important concepts and personal interests. As an IB World School we strive to create learning environments and contexts that are challenging, relevant, engaging, and fun.
Our children spend time in free play both inside and in nature and have teachers who bring the learning outside as much as possible. They are regularly exposed to “traditional” subjects such as science and math... all while their learning is happening organically through inquiry and direct experience. These experiences give children a chance to do what they excel in - learn through play!
SHP believes all children develop at different ages and paces and benefit from learning environments that span multiple ages, rather than those siloed by age. Multi-age classrooms offer more opportunities for peer-mentoring, social and leadership skills, and collaboration. The mixing of ages – whether it be a 12-month stretch of two-year-old toddlers or a mixed class of three- and four-year-old preschoolers – has promoted more sustained inquiry, self-directed learning, students taking leadership roles in their classrooms; as well as better reflective practices by teachers, who often spend two years with their students.
All SHP faculty and staff engage in sustained professional development that often spans multiple years. We believe this allows us time to learn, practice, apply, and reflect on our growth. Over the years our professional development has revolved around Positive Discipline, Free Play, Inquiry-based practices, and IB.
SHP partners with a team of Early Childhood Interventionists, as a part of our Leadership Team, who help to support the mission of the school and the administration. They assist in coordinating special education compliance and assist in the design, development, and delivery of intervention programs and services appropriate for students from age 1 through 5 with various learning and behavioral differences. The developmental interventionists work closely with classroom teachers and parents to plan and implement intervention strategies designed to specifically meet the needs of individual students, and support classroom teachers in building social-emotional competence for all students.
As a part of our program, the intervention team visits all classrooms to provide strategies for transitions and routines. If the teachers feel a student needs further observation the intervention team will contact the family to discuss, and for permission to observe the child while they are in the classroom.
Sharing facilities on campus with Sacred Heart School for the Arts allows for daily arts integration and opportunities for additional arts enrichment after school. Collaboration is frequent and fruitful with our neighbors at Sacred Heart Model School (coed JK-8) and Sacred Heart Academy (all girls 9-12). Our preschool family has also established a very special relationship with the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, providing unique intergenerational learning opportunities that bring together “learners” from ages one to ninety-five!
We’ve had to swap these in-person collaborations for virtual ones this year due to Covid, but plan to resume as soon as is safe and possible.
We encourage you to learn more about the SHP Difference!
Sacred Heart Schools is proud to offer educational opportunities on our campus for children ages 1-18. If you are interested in learning more about SHP, SHMS Junior Kindergarten or Kindergarten or programs at our School for the Arts, please contact Admissions Director Remy Noble at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502.736.6448.