Lower School Curriculum
Grades 1st through 4th
Our Lower School program carefully lays the groundwork for future academic learning and is designed to promote confidence, inspire curiosity, encourage cooperation and cultivate critical thinking skills. In these formative years, we continue to offer a nurturing environment that fosters self-esteem, encourages risk-taking and promotes a lifelong love of learning. To this end we continue to strengthen literacy, develop math skills, establish effective work habits, and encourage students’ citizenship by enhancing their understanding of the world around them. Reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, and science are cornerstone to the curriculum.
The Lower School focuses on The Balanced Literacy program with fidelity to Fountas and Pinnell, Continuum of Literacy Learning. Our literacy program provides students with the skills and strategies needed to become strategic readers, writers, listeners and speakers. Through this comprehensive curriculum that matches students skills, knowledge and interests, we cultivate passionate readers, critical thinkers, and informed decision-makers.
The mathematics program implements the Singapore math curriculum that teaches students to master mathematical concepts in more detail by using familiar, hands-on manipulatives such as coins, chips or dice. By studying the underlying structure and relationship of numbers and operations, students learn to compute, estimate and solve problems, and understand mathematical concepts.
Our carefully designed science program, Full Option Science System (FOSS), involves hands-on investigation of scientific concepts and phenomena. Through discovery, investigation and application students gain an understanding of how science relates to everyday experiences. For instance, first grade students study three units: The Human Body, States of Matter, and the Life Cycle of Plants and Animals. In these units children learn and apply the skills of observing, predicting and communicating content using precise scientific language.
At the Cathedral School it is important for students to understand the world around them. The Lower School Social Studies program promotes the children’s understanding of their neighborhood, community, country and ultimately the world. Students become well-rounded learners, understanding diversity, individuality and learning compassion for society.
The academic curriculum is complemented by daily rotating specials including music, visual arts, religion, Greek language and culture, and physical education. The core curriculum, in addition to specialized subject areas provide our students with a balanced foundation for future academic success. Our skilled and dedicated teachers are committed to helping our Lower School students reach their own personal best in every subject area. Open classroom discussions and thoughtful analysis cultivate confidence and collaboration, and encourage active and independent learners.
Music: Our Lower School music program is designed to inspire in our students a love of music. Students learn about music through singing, listening and instrumentation. Students perform several times a year in various musical performances and concerts
Visual Arts: In the Lower School, the art program is designed to enhance creativity and exploration. Students are encouraged to experiment with new materials and to challenge their creative abilities. Sculpture, painting and construction are just a few areas our Lower School students begin to explore as they learn about the creative world around them
Language: The Lower School Greek language program is designed to develop learning and communication skills. Students learn through song, play, and storytelling. Children learn to recognize the letters and sounds of the Greek alphabet. The program builds foundational skills that create a rich language experience for Cathedral School students.
Physical Education: Through games, drills and challenges students work together to build self confidence and sportsmanship. Emphasis on movement and manipulative skills helps to create strong bodies and strong minds. Cathedral School students are encouraged to work together to help foster teamwork and emotional growth.
Religion: The Orthodox Christian tradition is an important part of character development at The Cathedral School, providing a moral and spiritual foundation for students. Students are guided by two golden rules: “Love thy neighbor as thyself” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The curriculum is sensitive to the diverse backgrounds within the student body and its inclusivity is a source of strength and pride in our community.