SSL Certificate


"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." – Proverb

The preschool child at Barnesville gains a strong foundational love of learning! Children learn best in a playful environment that is structured to expose them to the necessary tools for academic readiness, while continuing to emphasize the importance of scaffolding social and emotional growth through the process. Our preschool program reflects a balance of child initiated and teacher directed activities throughout the school day. Our curriculum is designed to encourage problem solving, critical thinking, empathy, and collaboration, in order to create a group of motivated and independent learners ready to succeed in kindergarten. Daily integration of the arts and sciences are interwoven into our classroom routines.


Social/Emotional Development

Learning to share, taking turns, communicating, listening, following classroom rules, and respecting others are the focused objectives in the area of social/emotional development.

Academic Readiness

Language Art lessons incorporate key early literacy, language skills, and phonemic awareness exposure, laying the foundation for Kindergarten academic readiness. Journals are kept for creative responses to literature and to foster early writing skills and reading comprehension. Our Handwriting Without Tears curriculum teaches the mechanics of writing the alphabet. Early mathematical concepts, such as one to one correspondence (numbers 0-20), same/different, graphing, ordinal numbers, geometry, and patterns are introduced through tactile and kinesthetic lessons.

Motor Development

Through individual and group play, the pre-kindergarten child is presented with daily activities to foster the development of spatial awareness as well as fine and gross motor skills. Pre-kindergarten students are introduced to physical education as they participate in non-competitive, “movement exploration” activities, which help them gain awareness of and control of their large muscle groups. To enhance fine motor development, the children are presented with a variety of media and activities that help develop their small muscle groups and therefore prepare them for writing letters, words, and numbers. We also introduce the Handwriting Without Tears methodology.

Physical Education

Preschool learning outcomes focus on fundamental motor play whereby exploration of all basic locomotor and non-locomotor movements, manipulatives and body awareness are the primary concentrations. Transferring fundamental play, appropriateness of locomotor and manipulative skills to simple games/activities is the next step of development. All children learn to listen respectfully to directions, retrieve and return equipment, and follow simple rules of behavior. Choosing to accept others without regard to personal differences is a mission of the school. Safety measures of body control in initiating boundaries, both personal and in general space are learned. Understanding and applying interrelated concepts connects (e.g. math, science, social studies, reading/language arts, music and art) to the learning of movement skills.


Singing and song repertoire constitute the basis of pre-kindergarten music classes. Much of the movement, simple dances, acting out activities, miming, and rhythmic actions in which the children engage, are connected with songs. Songs transmit culture, history, and the richness of shared human experiences, values, and feelings. Through music, the children celebrate the seasons, and observe in some meaningful way the traditional holidays and festivals. Special emphasis is placed on agricultural cycles since the Barnesville School is located in the Agricultural Reserve; farm animals are a favorite subject in pre-kindergarten music! Pre-kindergartners always make an outstanding contribution to the Lower School May Day. They lead the traditional processional up the gently sloping hillside singing, Unite and Unite, finally arriving at the playground to place their flowers and branches of May at the base of the May Pole. Later in the May Day Program they perform a singing game around the May Pole and sing a song of spring.


Our visual art lessons expose students to the elements of art; texture, line, shape, color, form, space and value. Art experiences are process-focused, allowing the children to guide the imagination and creation for their product. We experiment with different mediums and tools to give the children a full range of artistic exploration. Self-portraits are drawn three times a year, as well as having a regular observational drawing time set into our weekly schedule.


Our preschoolers engage in process drama twice a week. Processed drama is a rich methodology that ignites the imagination through story and travel. A processed drama unit can extend from 2 to 10 weeks focused on the same theme/story. Drama lessons create community, build empathy, promote problem solving and critical thinking skills, as well as reinforce literacy and mathematical concepts. Drama strengthens key developmental areas as cognitive, social/emotional, and physical components are included in all lessons.


Exploration will be used as a time to explore the outdoor world and foster a love and respect for nature. This is also where science will be included into our week. Activities during exploration will range from a simple nature walk around the school property to an in depth study of spiders, bees, volcanoes or snow. While some exploration projects are themed based on the interest of the children and their discoveries, yearly planned projects include a compost study, a pollinator study, sustainability, and weekly nature journaling. Outdoor play in our “little woods,” as well as access to our mud kitchen is incorporated daily into our schedule.


In the pre-kindergarten library class, students are introduced to the library as a wonderful place where together we grow in the love of books. The stories from the books that are read help the student relate to children’s experiences much like their own. They develop a feeling of comfort for the library environment and library routines. They learn to appreciate that library books are to be borrowed, returned, and cared for properly because everyone in the community shares them. Students are introduced to children’s picture books, early readers, and primary non-fiction. They learn to appreciate the story and the illustrations through discussion. They learn to make good book choices and to understand that each book has a special place in the library.


Pre-kindergarten students work on a variety of basic units during the school year. They attend class twice a week for 20 minutes. In each unit, we work with no more than eight vocabulary words that are taught through the use of repetition at a phonetic and comprehensive level. In pre-k, we begin to work with questions and answers such as, “What is this?” “How many are?” and “What color is this?

Students also begin to use simple greetings and expressions such as hello, goodbye, good morning, etc. Each unit is enriched with songs, games, and stories that incorporate movement and didactic materials so that students learn in an engaging and entertaining environment.

An independent private school in
Montgomery County, Maryland
offering innovative preschool
through 8th grade programs.

Barnesville School

21830 Peach Tree Road
PO Box 404
Barnesville, MD 20838

p: 301.972.0341
f: 301.972.4076


We offer a vigorous academic program for students as well as engaging, hands-on learning experiences.


Our positive, supportive learning environment promotes imagination, exploration, personal growth, and achievement.

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