Kindergarten – 4th Grade
Our lower school curriculum is balanced and integrated. Our purpose is to provide a nurturing environment where learning takes center stage, and where students become confident thinkers, leaders, citizens, and friends. As students progress toward middle school, they assume increasing responsibility for their learning as the interdisciplinary curriculum challenges and engages them in the world around them.
- One class per grade
- Small class size
- School day 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Below you will find an overview of each subject in lower school.
The goal of the lower school Language Arts program at The Girls’ School is to create confident life-long readers, writers, and communicators. The lower school curriculum uses all genres of literature to inspire and encourage emerging readers. Spelling and grammar skills are reinforced through curriculum resources such as Write Source and Writing Workshop. Print writing, with emphasis on correct letter formation and pencil grip, lays the foundation for the transition to cursive writing in third grade. Studies include letter writing, creative writing, research projects, phonics, spelling, keyboarding and grammar skills.
Mathematicians are problem solvers first. GSA’s lower school math curriculum, Math in Focus: Singapore Math, helps students learn the language of math. Through hands-on learning, visualization, and pictorial representations, their understanding, confidence, and love of math grows. A consistent, clear teaching path fosters a focus on new content and encourages mathematical thinking.
The Girls’ School uses Math in Focus to scaffold instruction to meet the needs of individual learners with hands-on learning and visual models that support and optimize learning. The hands-on nature of this program calls for heavy use of manipulatives to teach the language of math and GSA has implemented this highly acclaimed, evidence-based curriculum in Kindergarten through 5th grade.
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) ensures a solid foundation in science for our STEM program at GSA. PLTW provides a transformative learning experience for students and teachers across the U.S. through an engaging, hands-on classroom environment and empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive. The professional development for teachers provides training, resources, and support to engage students in real-world learning. Pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science engage students in hands-on activities, projects, and problems; empowers them to solve real-world challenges; and inspires them to reimagine how they see themselves.
Lower School Strings
The lower school strings curriculum is based on several important early musical techniques. After the initial two years on the violin, students may move to another string instrument including the viola, cello and double bass. Second and third grades focus on ensemble, note-reading and beginning improvisation.
The piano program is individualized and developed to build applied skills in notation reading, posture, and expression. Composition and multi-media projects are designed to improve students’ musical and creative ability and increase comfort level with experimentation, musical exploration, and performance.