The Lower School curriculum provides a solid foundation for future study and emphasizes skill mastery in all areas of learning.
Ability grouping in math and language arts recognizes individual needs and provides a continuing challenge for those ready to work at a higher level.
Students in grades 1 through 5 learn in an environment that provides a rich blend of strong academics combined with opportunities for individual and social growth. Teachers possess the skills to teach, the compassion to nurture, and the creativity to make the academic challenge a road to discovery.
- St. Johns utilizes a phonics-based reading program that incorporates integrated language arts techniques and places a strong emphasis on grammar and writing and fosters development of spelling, phonics, reading, oral language, listening, vocabulary, handwriting, creative writing, written composition, usage, and mechanics.
- Mathematical concepts are introduced through “hands-on” activities that require both deductive and inductive reasoning skills. Students use mathematical manipulation to develop a concrete understanding of concepts before using numerical symbols abstractly.
- The social studies program emphasizes the disciplines of history, geography, economics, sociology, philosophy, and political science.
- Science teachers lead students to use all five senses in observing and evaluating their environment. A fully equipped science lab allows for a “hands-on” discovery approach to science.
- The excitement of learning about foreign lands and people begins in Pre-Kindergarten and continues through Grade 5. Weekly classes allow students to explore French in grades Pre-K through 3 and Spanish in grades 4 and 5. The goals of the Lower School foreign language courses are linguistic exposure and cultural awareness.
- Twice weekly music instruction involves students singing, rhythmic movement, dialogue, and playing instruments. Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 may also participate in chorus. Students in grade 5 may participate in band.
- Art instruction twice a week introduces students to basic visual art principles, elements, vocabulary, and art history through creative experiences in drawing, painting, ceramics, and other media.
- The physical education classes meet weekly and provide activities that promote self-esteem and develop the skill level of each individual. Swimming is incorporated into the physical education curriculum.
- Technology is integrated in all subject areas throughout the Lower School. Classroom instruction and laboratory activities reinforce student learning.
- Leadership skills are encouraged at all levels, particularly through Lower School Student Government and Safety Patrol.
In keeping with the philosophy of St. Johns, the program for Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K3 and Pre-K4) and Kindergarten emphasizes the child’s intellectual, social, and physical development while cultivating moral and character growth. Pre-School students are involved in discovery activities to foster skills in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and the Social Sciences. Through a multi-sensory phonics-based program, students learn word attack skills and develop a love of reading. Mathematics skills are first introduced with a hands on manipulative approach that promotes and enhances concept development. Science and Social Science concepts are infused throughout the curriculum.
Pre-school students take advantage of the full range of academic offerings at St. Johns including music, dance, art, library, French , computers, and physical education. With a student-teacher ratio of 7:1 in Pre-K3, and 8:1 in Pre-K4 and Kindergarten, children have the opportunity to work individually with the teacher each day. Some work is done as a whole group, some in small groups, and some individually as the child learns to work on self-directed tasks. Learning centers with “hands-on” opportunities are also an important part of the school day.
Pre-school children have the opportunity to work individually with the teacher each day. Some work is done as a class, some in small groups, and some independently as the child learns to work on self-directed tasks. Learning centers with “hands-on” opportunities are also an important part of the Pre-School day.
Cooperation between parents and teachers is essential to the child’s success. Written communication, scheduled conferences, and informal talks enable parents and teachers to learn from one another how best to help each child. Many parents share their vocations, interests, and talents by coming to school for activity centers or related science or social studies units. Parents also invite classes to come to their offices or workplaces.
The overall objective of the Pre-School is to develop in each child a positive self-concept, a sense of personal responsibility, creativity, self-control, positive peer relationships, verbal skills, appropriate learning skills, and an ability to interact in groups. A warm and caring environment helps each child fulfill his or her potential. As a child develops an enthusiasm for learning, acquires basic skills, and has a sense of self-confidence, we feel the purpose and goals for our Pre-School program have been met.
Defining elements of St. Johns Country Day School’s Pre-School Program
Experienced faculty- attuned to current research and educational practices-instill excitement for academic work in language arts, math, science and the social sciences.
Exploratory work- engaging teachers and students in a shared process of learning and discovery-promotes curiosity, builds analytical thinking skills, and enables intellectual development.
Classes in music,art,foreign language, drama, and physical education are taught by highly specialized faculty members in campus facilities that include studios, laboratories, outdoor classrooms and gymnasiums.
Small classes-coupled with the support and expertise of school-wide learning specialists enable differentiated classroom learning tailored to each child’s skills, work habits, and learning style.
Curricular connections across the school bring students from grades 1-12 into the Pre-School for shared projects and activities.
Emphasis on respect for each individual and and openness to multiple perspectives develop confidence in children, the skills to work cooperatively, and an understanding of community.
Defining elements of St. Johns Country Day School’s Lower School
Experienced faculty-attuned to current research and best practices-instill excitement for academic work in all disciplines.
Classes in music, art, foreign language, library, movement, drama and physical education are taught by highly specialized faculty members in campus facilities that include studios, laboratories, outdoor classrooms, gymnasiums, and a performance stage.
Small classes coupled with the support and expertise of school-wide learning specialists-enable differentiated classroom learning tailored to each child’s skills, work habits, and learning style.
Curricular connections across the school bring students together for shared projects and activities.
Emphasis on respect for each individual and an openness to multiple perspectives develop confidence in children, the skills to work cooperatively, and an understanding of the community.