Lower School Curriculum
Lower School Curriculum
Core Courses for Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten
Our Junior Kindergarten curriculum is designed to include age-appropriate academic content to be learned in a developmentally appropriate context. For four and five-year-olds the context is play. Their play is their work! Through self-directed and guided play they are able to connect what they already know and have experienced with the new ideas and skills they are learning daily. Junior Kindergarten is also where our students begin to build their early literacy and math skills. Their emerging cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills are stretched and strengthened as they work independently and side by side with their teachers. Thoughtfully planned centers are designed to entice engagement and invite active, open-ended exploration. Our goal is to challenge our students to explore, think and inquire while learning to share and collaborate with their peers.
Kindergarten is a special time that provides young children the opportunity to creatively explore their unique talents and abilities, deepen their self-confidence and independence, and extend their academic experiences and abilities. In the kindergarten wing of the lower school, mathematics, social development, and literacy are explored in an independent, small group, and whole-group settings that provide the opportunity for the kindergarten faculty to establish caring, supportive relationships with each student—relationships that nurture the inherent connection between the cognitive learning and emotional/effective development. Challenging, cross-curricular experiences that stimulate divergent thinking, and provide experience in individual and cooperative problem solving, are emphasized in order to facilitate character development and critical thinking skills.
Core Courses for first and second grades
The first-grade literacy curriculum balances both phonics and whole language helping the students transition into readers. The curriculum offers the student a broad background in mathematics and uses a spiral approach towards learning to explore mathematical content beyond basic arithmetic. Concepts are taught through problem-solving and basic skills practice is reinforced in a real-world context. Social Studies takes off in first grade through a study of each of the seven continents as well as the oceans. Children are taught respect for cultures around the world by developing an understanding of world cultures, customs as well as awareness of similarities and differences. We compare and contrast a variety of cultures around the world.
Second-grade literacy is a balance between whole group, small group learning environments for reading and writing to enable each student to become a more fluent, independent reader and to continue to gain comprehension skills, as the reading material becomes increasingly complex. The spiral approach of the math program introduces students to build their understanding of math concepts while simultaneously increasing his/her accuracy of the basic facts. The social studies curriculum provides engaging opportunities for students to learn about their community, geography concepts, and citizenship. In addition, Second graders complete community service projects in honor of veterans throughout the school year. The second-grade program also allows each student to develop his/her self-esteem as well as help students to become independent thinkers and contributing members inside and outside the school community.
Core Courses for third and fourth grades
Third-grade literacy curriculum is a balance between whole group, small group learning environments for reading, writing, and word study to acquire and practice skills as developing readers and writers. The spiral approach of the math program introduces new concepts, reinforces previously acquired skills, and fosters the ability to explain both orally and in written form one’s mathematical thinking as a problem solver. Our social studies units (Map Skills, Government & Citizenship, Kentucky, and Economics) help students understand their roles and responsibilities as emerging members of a community, the country, and as global citizens.
In fourth grade, students begin to extend their learning through cross-curricular projects and presentations. In literacy, students read classroom novels that allow them to analyze characters, summarize, make connections, implement reading strategies learned and explore historical people and events through nonfiction texts. Along with their oral presentations, students are also asked to expand their understanding of content through their narrative, expository, persuasive, and non-fiction writing. The math program allows for hands-on learning which reinforces the exploration of concepts of acquired skills. In social studies, students focus on Early Native Americans, European exploration, and the settling of North America. Students also examine conflicts leading to the founding of the United States, and the effects of push and pull factors on the peoples of Africa and North America.
Students that have an interest or talent in a particular subject can stretch themselves through academic team opportunities.
- Quick Recall
- Math Busters