Nurturing STRONG Values and Community
All children in the Lower School, Grades 1-4, are guided in their development of a personal and active faith in God. As children of the Sacred Heart, our students learn to be alert to the needs of others and to understand deeply that genuine love always takes the form of service. Guided by a community that models respect, compassion, forgiveness and generosity, our students come to know God and to act for Him in justice and love. A community of many faiths and cultural traditions, we celebrate together and we come to understand our place in a global world.
Joyful Growth for Academic Success
Young children live and learn in a social context and academic success is predicated on social success. Facilitated by a full-time developmental counselor, the social curriculum in the Lower School is an intentional, research-based program designed to support learners at every level. All Lower School faculty are trained facilitators of the Responsive Classroom approach and specific strategies, including Morning Meeting, logical consequences, academic choice, and interactive modeling are employed to support the social development of our children.
All Lower School classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and a full-time technology coach is available to support technology-based learning with both faculty and students. At appropriate times, our technological tools and applications enhance all areas of our first-rate curriculum and collaborative learning. The children in our early childhood classrooms enjoy the use of center-based sets of iPads, while those in Grades 2 and 3 are provided with iPads for individual use. Girls in Grade 4 participate in a one-on-one Chromebook program.
Our outdoor classroom offers a balance of areas for physically active and less active play. While outside, children frequently have the opportunity to initiate their own learning experiences and activities. Our garden exposes the children to hands-on environmental education and provides students with the opportunity to grow and eat fresh produce, promoting healthy lifestyles.
Examples of outdoor play includes:
- In the fall, we go on a leaf hunt to sort and dry them. We also rake the leaves, use the wheelbarrow to place them in the compost pile.
- During the coldest months, the students install and observe a bird house. They feed the birds and provide pieces of yarn for their nests. We observe animal tracks in the snow and make our own giant tracks, using garden tools and sticks. There is always a discussion about migration and hibernation.
- Using long bamboo sticks, large pieces of fabric and pins, we build forts big enough for 10 children!
- This spring we observed the live camera feed from the U.S. National Arboretum of the Bald Eagle's nest and built our “nest” with our bamboo sticks. Potatoes were used to make our “eggs” and we fed the baby eagles wood chips.
- We observe and marvel at insects underneath the stepping stones, spiders in the shed, and worms in the garden.
- We taste the nectar of clover flowers, smell our hyacinths and daffodils, and walk barefoot in the sand.
- The Kindergarten students plant seeds in September. This spring we had an afternoon of radish tastings!
- In the spring, we prepare the soil for wildflower seeds, tomatoes, strawberries, and herbs such as basil, thyme, and mint.
- We learn about the pollination of the strawberry and tomato flowers. We illustrate this by painting with watercolors.
Raising Voices for Young Girls: read more about the Power of an All-Girls Education