Based in Blaine Hall, the Lower School is an active, colorful place, with approximately 440 children from first through fourth grades. Our teachers develop a warm and sharing relationship with their students, and we encourage that closeness by maintaining a low student-teacher ratio. Each homeroom has about 23 pupils, with a head teacher as well as an assistant teacher through the second grade.
Even the youngest children take part in class discussions, ask questions, and express their own ideas. They also can be found writing and directing their own plays and engaging in the scientific exploration of the world around them. Additional activities often involve other classes: older students "tutor" younger students in spelling; one class may present a historical play to another; or several may work together to design a conservation program. Such activities add a rich dimension to our students' lives, helping them gain confidence in their skills and capacity to contribute to the world.
Children learn the fundamental skill they will use throughout their academic careers, with an emphasis on proficient reading, clear and effective writing, and a problem-solving approach to mathematics. Our students also develop independent study skills, and perhaps most important, a genuine love of learning.
Students move gradually from a homeroom-centered day to one in which they encounter a variety of teachers. By the time students reach the third grade, they receive special instruction in art, laboratory science, foreign language, and computers. In the fifth grade, they may elect to play a musical instrument.