Lower School is part of the thirteen-year sequence offering a college preparatory education to students. Our well‑rounded program includes skills, strategies, and enriched academics while fostering aesthetic appreciation, moral values, physical development, and sound emotional growth.
Lower School recognizes students as individuals with specific strengths and needs and views learning as taking place on a continuum. Student capabilities, interests, and current knowledge are foundations from which to begin inquiry. Continuous opportunities for student reflection and self-evaluation provide the basis for meaningful applications of learning. Lower School endeavors to create and maintain a community that encourages student ownership of the learning process and strives to develop a lifelong pursuit of knowledge.
The Lower School Curriculum
Curriculum is defined as what we teach and how we teach it. With our firm mission, wonderful resources, talented faculty and high academic standards, we review our objectives and methods continually. This allows us to make thoughtful curricular decisions to improve the quality of our programs. It is our goal that the program provides opportunities for high academic engagement where students are motivated to think independently, apply information, and synthesize ideas. Teachers work to set up classrooms as communities of learning which nurture inquiry and creativity as well as create a climate of safety where students feel comfortable taking risks and making mistakes. The curriculum is designed to engage students in challenging enterprises, building their self-confidence and promoting habits of good citizenship while making lifelong friends. In Kindergarten through Class Three, students spend the majority of the school day with their classroom teacher. They receive instruction in language arts, math, and social studies in this homeroom group.
Beginning in Class Four, language arts/social studies, science, and math are taught by content teachers. Specialists in Kindergarten through Class Five teach art, computer, library, music, physical education, science, and Spanish. All students participate in various reading and math enrichment activities. Instructional specialists provide these opportunities and offer additional support in math and reading. Since students need strong bodies to fuel strong minds, all Lower School students have a daily recess period in addition to daily physical education classes. Recess is viewed as an opportunity for instruction, a time for children to practice interaction with peers when adults are present but not actively involved.
For a broad overview of St. John’s curriculum for Kindergarten through Class Five, please select a department from the Curriculum menu.