The Londonderry School offers programs for children in preschool through 8th grade. Our school promotes a family atmosphere and individually-paced learning through small class sizes of about 15 students, and age groupings within classrooms spanning several grade levels. At Londonderry, students are encouraged to learn and grow in an atmosphere that supports who they are: CHILDREN. They are encouraged to explore, move about, discuss, and enjoy their learning experiences and each other.
Preschool and Kindergarten
Londonderry’s philosophy is exemplified in the warm, inviting and stimulating preschool and kindergarten learning environments designed to suit the young child’s active learning style. Londonderry’s early childhood program encompasses preschool for children ranging from the age of 2½ through age five and kindergarten. Children may attend half-day or full-day classes during the preschool years. Kindergarten is a full-day program. Classroom sizes are small, with teacher-child ratios significantly lower than licensing standards. Most classrooms have mixed age groups to enhance the family feel and encourage children to advance according to their abilities, rather than age.
Older 2 year-olds: Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays (9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)
3, 4 and 5 year-olds: Three days per week minimum
- Mornings (9 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.)
- Full-day (9 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.)
Kindergarten: Full-day (9 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.)
The elementary program at Londonderry encompasses first through eighth grades. All classrooms are mixed age groupings, with 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, 5th and 6th, and 7th and 8th combined.
Elementary School: Full-day (8:40 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)
The Londonderry philosophy views the student as a natural and curious learner with the teacher as a facilitator in the learning process. The teacher establishes a varied and flexible daily routine that allows for individual, small group and whole class learning to take place. Student conversations and discussion are encouraged. A supportive learning environment is created where students can question, risk and learn from mistakes and each other. Critical thinking and problem solving are fostered.
Elementary students spend the mornings and at least three afternoons per week in their self-contained classrooms. Special morning and afternoon classes introduce students to a variety of topics and specialized subjects, such as art, science, history, computers, Spanish, music and physical education. Students enjoy two or more recess periods per day of free choice active outdoor play.
Bus transportation is available for children from most of the East and West Shore school districts. Please contact us for more information regarding the availability of bus transportation in your neighborhood.
Before and After School Program
Londonderry’s Before and After School program is designed to meet the needs of students, from preschool through 8th grade, who must stay at school before or past the end of the school day because their parents are working. The program is licensed by the Department of Human Services and has achieved the highest rating by the new Pennsylvania child care quality initiative — Pennsylvania Office of Child Development Keystone STARS. We strive to provide a quality licensed After School program that is as “homelike” as possible. The program provides teacher and child-planned activities, as well as a wide range of free-choice activities such as art, games, books, dramatic play (puppets, dress-ups), outdoor games and homework time. Snacks are provided each afternoon. The staff’s role is to act as a resource, listening ear and as individual support for the children. Discipline focuses on logical consequences and inner growth rather than on punishment.
The program offers care for students on a half hour fee basis. Students may attend on an occasional basis, a few days per week, or five days per week every week. Enrollment varies considerably day to day and hour to hour.
Before School: Daily (7 a.m. – 8 a.m.)
After School: Daily (2:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.)
- Healthy snacks are provided each afternoon.
Before/After School Fee: $3.00 per half hour
- Usage is tracked and billed on a per child basis.
- Additional fees are charged for after 6 p.m. pickups.
During the summer, the Londonderry school campus hosts a variety of full-day, half-day and specialty camps. Please check out the Londonderry Backyard Summer Camp 2017 for additional information.
Ready to sign up? Fill out the 2017 Londonderry Summer Camp Registration Form.
Like ART and want to sign up for CRAFTY KIDS SUMMER ART CAMP 2017
Dates: August 21-25 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m for Ages 5 & up
Fill out the 2017 Crafty Kids Summer ART Camp Registration Form to sign up.
How about the END OF SUMMER ART CAMP 2017
Dates: August 28 – September 1 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m for Ages 6 – 13
Fill out the 2017 End of Summer ART Camp Registration Form to sign up.
The Londonderry School encourages teachers to utilize their training, experiences, background, interests and abilities to implement a creative and stimulating curriculum for students. Our teachers are expected to use the school’s philosophy as a guide in developing curriculum materials, while simultaneously respecting the teacher’s individual knowledge and teaching style.
Early childhood teachers are expected to implement a curriculum where play is learning in a warm, loving environment. Teachers are expected to serve as facilitators in the child’s exploration of concepts in language, math, science, music, art, movement, dramatic play and social studies interwoven into the daily routine. The curriculum presents a balance of teacher directed and child selected, indoor and outdoor, active and quiet, small and large group activities through which children can learn about themselves and their world. Londonderry recognizes that young children are not developmentally suited to learning through drill or worksheets, but through active involvement with concrete materials.
Elementary school teachers are expected to implement a curriculum using traditional subjects, children’s interest, and teacher-class initiated topics as framework for learning. Small group and self-paced learning are encouraged; basal readers and math workbooks are seen as only one aspect of an enriching curriculum. Literature based reading and process writing are the major aspects of the language arts curriculum. Teachers supplement all traditional curricula materials with learning centers, multi-discipline learning games and activities, field trips and resource persons, cooking, art, computer activities and other materials that enhance the child’s understanding and allow for peer interaction and active exploration of a studied topic.
Our integrative and enriching school curriculum emphasizes development of the whole child — socially, emotionally, cognitively, creatively and physically — from the youngest preschooler, through the middle years. It seeks to empower children as designers and inventors, enabling them to learn about the world through their own explorations and experiments. It challenges them to work and learn from each other, risk and create new ideas and projects, and stretch their learning based on abilities and interests.
Reading & Writing
A literature-based approach to learning to read and write is utilized in all classrooms. Children and teachers select literature to read and explore, and also use a published reading series to complement these choices.
A wide variety of techniques are used to assist children as they learn to read, respecting the variety of learning styles in the classroom. Children write across the curriculum about their interests and class projects. Spelling words, writing, science, art, and math often relate to current topics. Children keep writing folders, diaries, and/or journals based on their interests and teacher ideas. Inventive spelling is encouraged. Students write for content primarily, with an emphasis on grammar and style emerging in elementary grades. Children select writings for further work, reworking their writing by editing and then publishing.
Math, Science & Technology
Math and science activities are planned to give children hands-on experiences before moving to abstract concepts. Children move through the math curriculum at their own pace. Science activities culminate in an all—school science fair that emphasizes the science process and critical thinking.
All classes at Londonderry learn about the natural world through various themes and topics studied. All elementary classrooms have computers in the classroom that are in constant use for problem-solving games, writing and programming. Students begin to learn about programming in kindergarten, working in small groups with our computer teacher using LOGO language. At the end of the school year, students are given the opportunity to display their projects at the “Computer Expo.” Older students learn to use technology to enhance learning and creativity. Everything from multimedia projects to laying out the school yearbook.
All kindergarten and elementary students participate in art classes. Children explore media and materials, experiment with various subject matter, and learn about the history of art and recognized artists. Londonderry students produce class plays throughout the year, including the all—school musical which takes place at the Scottich Rite.
The annual Spring Arts Festival is an all—school celebration of the artwork and creativity of Londonderry students. Most grades enjoy annual field trips to art museums. Children in kindergarten have music sessions once a week with a music teacher. Elementary students may choose special classes in music and chorus. During fifth through eighth grades students are given the opportunity to form rock and roll “bands” under the guidance of experienced musicians. After practicing weekly in the second semester, these bands perform for parents and students during the last week of school.
Students at Londonderry from preschool through eighth grade are helped to learn about themselves, handling their emotions, and problem solving with peers through a developmentally sequenced curriculum utilizing the steps of conflict resolution, peer mediation and group topical discussion.
The school’s mixed age groupings and purposeful interactions among classes promote a family feeling at Londonderry. Older students in grades 1-8 are paired with preschool and kindergarten children as “Big and Little Friends.” These friends visit each other informally and enjoy special activities, as younger students get to know older students and older students learn about caring for a smaller friend.
Since the school’s inception, our curriculum has always encouraged students’ learning about nature and acting with concern for the environment.
The school has gained local and national recognition for its cutting edge use of technology and art in integrated environmental studies. Further, in all endeavors, Londonderry remains conscious of its role as an educational model for the greater Harrisburg community. With our “green” building and environmental education campus, we strive to be a model of caring for kids, community and the natural surroundings.