The Lower School is comprised of students in Grades Three through Five. The mission of the Lower School is to enable all of our students to experience academic success in a nurturing environment. Teachers will facilitate critical thinking skills, encourage creative problem solving and focus on organization and study skills. Academic work will be challenging at a developmentally appropriate level while using a variety of teaching strategies. Accommodations are provided for learning differences when appropriate.
The focus of the Language Arts program is the utilization of skills taught through grammar and literature instruction integrated into creative writing and cross-curricular compositions. Different genre is analyzed through more challenging activities.
The Lower School Math program will emphasize: problem solving, analyzing and synthesizing information, usage of critical thinking skills with practical applications.
Science in the Lower School is dedicated to more thorough understandings of Life, Physical and Earth Sciences. Group exploration, experimentation, usage of the Scientific Method, lab work, projects and enrichment programs both on and off campus will be utilized. A focus on the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and preservation of our surrounding ecosystems is a major emphasis of the Lower School Science curriculum.
Lower School Social Studies will focus on studying the basic principles of a democratic government and associated economics. Additionally, in the study of the history of Virginia there is particular emphasis placed on understanding the role of local settlements like Jamestown and Yorktown. Students are exposed to the study of ancient civilizations which continues into the Middle School. Specific hands-on learning experiences through projects and field trips enhance study at each grade level.
Expansion of the study of Spanish will occur in the Lower School through a variety of presentation techniques as the students continue to broaden their use of vocabulary and understanding of more complex sentence structures.
Computer classes in the Lower School will enrich students with a basic understanding of technology and keyboarding skills which will be integrated into classroom projects. Knowledge of computer related vocabulary and programming skills will increase, intensify and become more complex with each respective year in the Lower School.
Fine and Performing Arts:
Art class, music instruction, rhythm exploration, instrumentation, dance, chorus and musical presentations are all part of the Fine and Performing Arts program.
The Lower School enjoys daily P.E. classes that focus on skill development, teamwork, physical fitness, health and nutrition. These skills are further developed during daily recess periods. Boys and Girls in Grades Four and Five will have opportunities to participate in some team sports as numbers allow each year.