We value the joys of childhood while understanding the importance of helping our students gain a deep love of learning. - Peggy Stephens, Lower School Head
Lower School Curriculum
Our goal in the elementary grades at Lower School is to help each girl become a capable, confident, and caring child. We value the joys of childhood and we believe that gentleness and kindness are learned behaviors and best taught through modeling.
Using creative problem solving skills, St. Mary’s Lower School program is designed to help equip each student with the ability to think critically, use technology and design tools, and develop the confidence to value the wisdom and flexibility that making mistakes provides. St. Mary’s not only promotes individualized learning, but also encourages elementary students to learn in community while discovering unique ways to explore, experiment, and excel.
Our school's weekly Chapel service and on-going character education program, fondly called A Bridge to Caring, not only nurtures our students spiritually, but allows students to reach beyond themselves to discover the importance of respect, kindness, courage, thankfulness, honesty, and cooperation. These timeless values are woven into our academic curriculum on a daily basis, creating a learning environment that honors the whole child.
Core Curriculum Subjects
- Reading and Language Arts
- Social Studies/Geography
- Art celebrates each girl’s individuality and fosters self-expression and creativity through the design process.
- Ballet fosters creative expression by immersing students in classical ballet stories through role playing, scene reenactments, and both choreographed and improvised movement.
- The Lower School Library is a center of inquiry where information literacy skills are integrated with classroom content. Curriculum emphasizes the development of research skills, the discovery of the joy of reading, and the promotion of lifelong learning.
- In keeping with our Episcopal tradition, Religion classes in St. Mary's Lower School explore stories from the Old and New Testaments, while encouraging respect for others' beliefs and teaching the values that unite us.
- Foreign language involves the learner in a technique called TPR, Total Physical Response. Spanish vocabulary and grammar are presented kinesthetically, aurally, verbally, visually, and literally to grades one through four.
- Music uses the developmentally appropriate Orff Schulwerk approach and includes choral experiences.
- Physical education enhances coordination, strength, self-control, and cooperation.