Lower School Specials
- Students in pre-kindergarten enjoy a variety of science activities in their classrooms. Students are taught that science is all around them. They use their senses to explore their environment and are encouraged to predict, observe, and draw conclusions. Science content in pre-kindergarten includes life cycles, energy and movement, the Earth (weather, water, day and night, ecology), and the human body (health, growth, my body, safety).
- In kindergarten, the science curriculum introduces earth, life, and physical science topics. Kindergarten science units include trees and weather, the five senses, plants and animals, and materials and motion. Children explore using all five senses to promote a greater understanding of the natural world while sharing hands-on experiences with objects, organisms, and systems.
- First-grade students enjoy hands-on learning through experimenting and observing. Scientific process skills are the focal point of each of the four units: rocks and earth materials, states of matter, plants, magnetism and electricity.
- In second grade, experimentation is usually done in cooperative groups so that children work together toward a final product. Comparing group results presents many possibilities. Students learn scientific methodology skills such as analyzing, predicting, evaluating, and formulating conclusions. Units include human body/nutrition; air and weather; balance, force, motion; animal groups and insects.
- The scientific process of experimentation and observation is a major focus in third grade. Hands-on activities accompany each concept. Through classroom experiences students are able to relate one scientific idea to another. Units include sound, water, structures of life, and measurement.
- In fourth grade, the scientific process continues to be a major focus. Students look at what’s new in science, bringing current events into the classroom and provoking discussions about the broadness and influence of science in our world. Units include the scientific method and the metric system, classification of living organisms, bats, microscopes (compound and stereomicroscopes), and desert biome. In fourth grade, we increase the amount of time students spend in science class in order to prepare them for our robust middle school science program.
The main goal of the lower school Spanish program is to get students excited about speaking and learning the Spanish language. We focus on auditory comprehension, and using a variety of means to communicate (through song, conversations, and writing). The program introduces vocabulary and concepts through crafts, hands-on activities, music, and games. The earliest grades focus on speaking and listening comprehension skills. Then, in the third and fourth grades, more grammatical and linguistic structures are introduced that focus on writing and reading skills. Classroom activities include note-taking, projects, oral presentations, skits, videos, and partner work.
The Lenhardt Library is connected with our Ward DREAM Labs to enable students to research an idea, build it through collaboration, and apply their work in our Shaver Learning Commons. It is the process of inquiry in action.
Our library is an essential part of our campus and learning experience. The library program focuses on helping students to develop a love and excitement for literature and to learn effective research skills. Additionally, students meet visiting authors and illustrators.
The library is accessible to all of our families at various times throughout the week. Lower school students have a weekly class when they visit the library to read, learn skills, and check out books. Throughout all grades the library is used as a hub for research and learning by individual students, groups, and classes
All of our students benefit from the Ward DREAMlabs, whether it is through technology classes or electives. It is a place where exploration and creation happens for all.
Technology is seamlessly integrated into the classroom as a tool to support student learning, enhance curriculum across disciplines and grade levels, and to provide skills that will benefit the students now and in the future. In the Lower School DREAMlab, students let their imaginations, technical skills, and problem-solving abilities soar. Through coding, 3D design, electronics, Legos, robotics, green screen creations and more, students are able to ask their questions, find new answers, and become innovators of tomorrow.
Click here to learn more about how students explore the inquiry and design process through the Lenhardt Library and Ward DREAMlabs.
Lower School PE classes promote teamwork skills and wellbeing, and encourage an active lifestyle through engaging and fun classes multiple times a week. Good sportsmanship is taught in the early grades and is developed throughout the years. We measure fitness in the areas of cardiovascular health, upper and lower body strength, as well as flexibility and agility in order to support growth for students. However, in PE, we care about student participation and effort. We want all of our students to be active learners that enjoy playing together on teams.
Every class in lower school enjoys going to our spacious music room full of electric guitars, drums, keyboards, and numerous other instruments. The music program for students in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade is based on the Orff-Schulwerk philosophy. The learning process follows the steps of exploration, imitation, improvisation, and creation. Playing a wide variety of instruments helps students recognize the range of sounds available in the metals, woods, shakers, scrapers, and skins families of instruments. Most importantly, our students love creating sound together.
Our art classes take place in massive art studios full of light and children’s creations. The studio-based art program encourages students to develop self-expression and confidence as they learn to communicate through art. Students acquire a sequential knowledge of the elements and principles of art. Projects within the art curriculum include drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, fiber, and clay. Students create two- and three-dimensional art and use a variety of tools, including brushes, pen and ink, palette knives, linoleum blocks, wood, chalk, and charcoal. All Saints’ has several art shows throughout the year to celebrate the process of artistic creation and the unique talents of our students.
Self-expression through drama plays an important role in the development of self confidence, creativity, and an overall appreciation of the performing arts. The theatre program leans heavily on creation, imagination, and playing “pretend.” Students will use their imaginations daily to explore new worlds, scenes, environments, and characters with rotating “themes” to centralize our learning and exploration around. They will be exposed to introductory topics in theatre such as acting/performing, singing, dancing, projecting (speaking with confidence), stage directions and/or stage movements, and play creation. Most classes will consist of a mixture of theatre games, exploration activities, and eventual “rehearsal time” for any class-created performances.
The inclusive Episcopal faith tradition seeks to instill love and respect for everyone. Children in lower school religion learn about Christian holidays and discuss the holidays and festivals of other world religions, including Judaism, the Islamic faith, and the Baha'i faith. Lessons from Bible stories are integrated with the core values of respect and responsibility, with a genuine focus on the Golden Rule and service to others. Religion is taught in a variety of ways using many age-appropriate activities. Students listen, read, create artwork, play games, role play, discuss, and teach kindness and love for others.
At All Saints’ we teach kindness and love for others. Our life skills program focuses on the development of social emotional learning of students. We have two counselors: one focused on Pre-Kindergarten to third grade and one focused on fourth to eighth. The counselors support students, families, and teach our life skills classes.
We want all of our students to be able to interact positively with others by showing empathy, kindness, asking questions, and asking for help when they need it. The life skills classes cover a wide range of topics that build on one another as the year progresses. Using artwork, video clips, books, games, and role play, students in lower school learn practical skills that help them navigate their peer relationships and time spent in the classroom and on the playground.