A Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for girls, Grades 1-12, with a co-educational Early Childhood Program, infant through Kindergarten age.

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Lower School (Grades 1-4)

Friends
STEAM
Makers Space

In Lower School at Stone Ridge, our teachers guide the girls through the process of coming to know themselves, cultivating a joy for learning, making wise choices, and understanding their gifts and responsibilities in our world as a child of the Sacred Heart. Our child-centered curriculum allows students to explore concepts from multiple perspectives through authentic inquiry.

Nurturing STRONG Values and Community

As children of the Sacred Heart, our students learn to be aware of the needs of others and understand deeply that genuine love always takes the form of service. Guided by a mission 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.

Grade 1

Our Grade One program is carefully designed to develop the uniqueness of each child. Teaching matches the natural process through which children develop and learn, and the learning environment is arranged for children to remain at the center of the room, with opportunities for grouping, collaboration and independent work.

Teachers continuously assess each child’s individual strengths and needs and personalize instruction in all subjects to provide the appropriate level of challenge. The needs of all children are met through one-on-one conferencing, small group, and whole group instruction.

Reading and writing are taught via Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop (Teachers College, Columbia University Reading and Writing Project). In addition, children use a phonics-based approach to reading, and Words Their Way is used for word study, spelling skills, and vocabulary. Expression and grammar are embedded into writing lessons.

In Grade One math instruction, Eureka Math and The Contexts for Learning Mathematics Units by Cathy Fosnot are used to engage students in real-life math exploration. Children share in hands-on experiences and faculty focus on developing in each student a deep understanding of math concepts. Instruction focuses on number sense, basic facts, addition, subtraction, and place value. Teacher’s foster multiple pathways to understanding mathematical concepts and children use mathematical models/manipulatives to engage in mathematical investigations.

Grade 2

Grade Two students are as vigorously imaginative as they are uncertain. We marvel at their depth of thought and their ability to communicate with clarity and passion.

Teachers in Grade Two continuously assess each child’s individual strengths and needs and personalize instruction in all subjects to provide the appropriate level of challenge. The needs of all children are met through one-on-one conferencing, small group, and whole group instruction.

Grade Two writing is taught systematically and includes pre-writing, planning, conferencing, editing and revising. Girls are taught to read, write, and communicate independently and with purpose via Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop (Teachers College, Columbia University Reading and Writing Project).

We utilize Eureka Math and The Contexts for Learning Mathematics Units by Cathy Fosnot to engage students in real-life math exploration; in this process, children share in hands-on experiences, and faculty focus on developing in each student a deep understanding of math concepts. Faculty employ cooperative learning, including investigations, independent practice, differentiation, and teacher-directed conference, to build children’s number sense, basic fact understanding, and place value.

Grade 3

In Grade Three, girls begin to gain independence and knowledge of their learning style. Therefore, we provide guided and direct instruction, which includes focused lessons of 25-45 minute intervals that are structured with an introduction from the teacher and guided-independent work to follow. The learning environment is arranged for children to remain at the center of the room, with varied opportunities for grouping, collaboration, and independent work.

Reading is taught through continued leveled assignments from the teacher, in consultation with the Lower School Librarian and Learning Strategist. Reading and writing are taught via Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop (Teachers College, Columbia University Reading and Writing Project). Words Their Way is used for word study, spelling skills, and vocabulary across the curriculum. Written expression, grammar, and vocabulary instruction are embedded into writing lessons.

In Grade Three, girls begin to learn to fluently multiply and divide using strategies such as the relationship between multiplication and division or properties of operations. We utilize Eureka Math and The Contexts for Learning Mathematics Units by Cathy Fosnot to engage students in real-life math exploration. Children share in hands-on experiences, and faculty focus on developing in each student a deep understanding of math concepts, which is a shift away from memorizing standard algorithm. Grade Three math fosters multiple pathways to understanding, where children continue to utilize mathematical models/manipulatives for number sense, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Grade 4

By Grade Four, girls have cultivated an increased sense of independence and are better able to self-advocate and identify how they learn best. Grade Four prepares girls for the structures of Middle School, and includes focused lessons of 25-45 minute intervals with direct instruction and modeling from the teacher and an increased emphasis on cooperative group work.

Reading is taught through continued leveled assignments as assessed by the teacher, in consultation with the Lower School Librarian and Learning Strategist. Reading and writing are taught via Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop (Teachers College, Columbia University Reading and Writing Project), where faculty continuously assess each child’s unique strengths and needs and personalize instruction to provide the appropriate level of challenge.  Words Their Way is used for word study, spelling skills, and vocabulary acquisition across the curriculum. Written expression, grammar, and vocabulary instruction are embedded into writing lessons.

In Grade Four, we utilize Eureka Math and The Contexts for Learning Mathematics Units by Cathy Fosnot to engage students in real-life math exploration. Children share in hands-on experiences, and faculty employ practical experiences and cooperative learning to build on children’s reasoning through complex problems, providing developmentally-appropriate objectives as children are guided to refine their varied toolbox of problem-solving strategies.

Mathematics in Grade Four teaches girls to transfer base-ten understandings to fractions and to solidifying their understanding of division. In tandem with continued geometric understandings, this prepares students for the content of Grade Five.