Lower School

The Lower School of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools serves a diverse student body of approximately four hundred thirty students in third through fifth grades.

Lower School children hit an important “aha!” moment when learning garnered in younger years, coalesces into more sophisticated thinking and peer relationships. They make an important leap when they go from learning to read to reading to learn. With this skill comes the ability to acquire and master new intellectual challenges, including starting specialist-taught classes in third grade: science and a world language (French, German, Mandarin Chinese, or Spanish.) Art, computer science, library, music, and PE all continue.

Collaborative activities with common goals teach the importance of cooperation, responsibility, and a continuing and more sophisticated respect for each individual’s ideas. Careful thought and planning goes into creating classroom environments that foster—and sustain—the intellectual curiosity children bring to learning.

Lower School students are at just the right age to be both “big buddies” and “little buddies.” As big buddies, they experience the sense of mastery and pride that comes from interacting with younger children. As little buddies to our Middle and High Schoolers, they get to work with and learn from older students.

The Lower School Experience