Lower School:
Grades K-5

Play, Discover, Invent, Create, Explore


What works in the elementary classroom:

  • Project learning

  • Integrated instruction

  • Interdisciplinary studies

  • Multiple intelligence curricula

Lower School is a nurturing and active place, with approximately 65 children from kindergarten through fifth grades. We construct our Lower Elementary (K-3rd grade) and Upper Elementary (4th and 5th grade) classes in mixed-aged groups. This allows students to spend two years with the same teacher, giving them the benefit of the continuity of this relationship. Our teachers develop a warm and sharing bond with their students, and we encourage that closeness by maintaining a low student-teacher ratio. Each basegroup has about 16 pupils, with one head teacher.

Teachers help children find ways to express their ideas and gain confidence in discussions; children are encouraged to ask questions and express their thoughts. Students spend significant time with their basegroup teachers, and are offered a variety of special area classes including physical education, art, music, and Spanish.

Lower School students work with older and younger peers: older students “tutor” younger students, they read together, work on history or science projects together; several may work on a school-wide project like our greening initiative. Such activities add a rich dimension to our students’ lives. They help them gain confidence in their skills, provide opportunities for leadership, and demonstrate a capacity to contribute to the broader community.

Children in Lower School learn the fundamental academic skills they will use throughout their lives. We emphasize proficient reading, clear and effective writing, and a problem solving approach to mathematics. Our students develop independent study skills and a genuine love of learning.

 Elementary Children’s Needs:

To construct a subjective inside self and an objective outside world. Kids are now able to retreat into their own minds, as well as taking major steps out into the social world.

Elementary Children’s Development:

Children now become social beings in their own right. Participating in the bigger world is a big part of what this period of childhood is all about. They discover the rules for social conduct, and they have a drive to discover, invent, create, and explore.