The Beginning and Lower School curriculum helps students from preschool to fifth grade build cognitive skills while also developing their physical, social-emotional, and intellectual selves. Students gain knowledge and skills necessary to be informed, participatory, and engaged community members.
The joy and challenge of engaging in the creative process is highly valued. Students learn instrumental work, singing, drama, dance, creative movement, and improvisation. The arts program engages in a broad range of mediums, concepts, and techniques and values innovation, craftsmanship, collaboration.
Our program is designed to help students become confident, independent readers and writers who believe in the power of their own voice. Teachers augment and adapt units of study from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project as a curricular framework. Young readers and writers develop phonemic awareness and phonics skills while engaging in rich, meaningful texts and writing to share their ideas. As children get older, literacy is integrated more into Social Studies and students use their skills to learn about the world and share their thoughts on how it can be made a better place.
Our math program develops students who are joyful and creative problem solvers who approach challenging mathematics with curiosity and perseverance and creates an environment in which students are encouraged to collaborate, discuss, and expand their ideas and knowledge. Homeroom teachers use best practices and research-based strategies to implement mathematics instruction, create respectful citizenry, and make sense of mathematics. Beginning in kindergarten, classrooms use Illustrative Mathematics as the core curriculum. It follows common core standards and is a problem-based curriculum that uses inquiry-based tasks to ensure all students can access, be challenged, and be successful within grade-level content.
Starting in first grade, students explore both Mandarin and Spanish before selecting with their families which language to study. These classes are taught by specialist teachers. Through movement, song, play, art, conversation, and oral and written activities they begin to learn to listen, speak, read and write in their studied language. Students typically study the same language throughout their time in Beginning and Lower School.
In our inquiry-based science program students learn how to develop their own questions, investigate, and find answers through exploration and experimentation. Throughout their years in the Beginning and Lower School, they develop the capacity to ask questions, plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, use mathematical thinking, create explanations and engage and communicate through Science.
Students study the different ways people address problems, and gain the knowledge, intellectual processes, and democratic dispositions required to be active and engaged participants in public life.
Students engage in wellness activities designed to promote lifelong physical and social-emotional health. They develop gross motor skills, learn how to keep their bodies healthy and active, and develop ways to take on new challenges.