Our Varied Approach
At our private Lower School in New York City, we take a holistic approach to learning, following a balanced yet diverse curriculum that covers an array of topics, themes, and knowledge about the world. We deliver this balanced “educational diet” by following the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), which includes English, phonics, and math lessons every day.
Themed Blocks and Units of Learning
Using themes, our Lower School students gain skills across geography, history, and social studies, planned throughout the year in engaging “blocks” or units of learning. They build upon foundational skills from their daily English, phonics, and math lessons, solidifying their understanding by applying those skills in new or different contexts.
We teach science in blocks of learning, too, so the children are challenged to delve deeper. Our students acquire knowledge about a subject as they practice skills of observation, questioning, interpretation, and communication.
Through practical activities, discussions, and research, our students share and talk about what they’ve learned in numerous ways, allowing them to choose their own creative path to the learning goals and objective.
In Lower School, specialist lessons become a more regular and embedded part of the weekly timetable. Lessons in Spanish, art, music, PE, drama, and dance encourage our students to learn in many different areas.
The Transition to Upper School
We understand that children can experience big transitions during their times at school. We strive to carefully help our students transition into and out of Lower School smoothly.
As students move through Lower School, their approach to learning will also develop. As they enter Year 1, for example, they’ll have opportunities to learn through play, as they would have learned in the Early Years. However, by the time they are in Year 4, we’ll be preparing them for Upper School by giving them more independence and responsibility in how they learn, including the different ways they can show their learning.