The Lower School program adheres to the philosophy inherent in the developmental approach to education. Whole language, which recognizes that language is learned best through its use (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) in authentic contexts, is balanced with the teaching of letter recognition and phonics.
From Kinder 3 to grade 5 students are exposed to a variety of children’s literature to develop English vocabulary, comprehension skills, and to foster a love for reading. In addition, whole and small group lessons are used to teach phonics and other grade appropriate reading skills. The students are given time for independent and guided reading using stories from textbooks and popular trade books that promote their progress as readers. Reading is often related to topics being studied in social studies and science.