Ages 6 to 9 years
The Lower Elementary is based on the unique needs of children between the ages of six and nine. WMS offers students the intellectual, social, and spiritual tools they need to flourish not just in school, but in life beyond school. The curriculum is both broad and deep, fully integrating rigorous academic study with practical work in an atmosphere that fosters social, emotional and intellectual development.
Children entering the elementary years combine vigorous stamina and curiosity with the excitement that comes with mastering the basics of reading and writing, time management, independent work, and harmonious community life. Children spend their days working both individually and collaboratively on a variety of highly engaging projects in the core subject areas of math, language, cultural studies (geography, history, sciences), and practical life. Highly skilled teachers customize research activity, field study, and art and music instruction based on a balance of student interest and the core goals of the curriculum.
- Students gain a concrete understanding of concepts through materials, then move on to abstraction
- Individualized studies allow students to learn at their level – moving ahead when they are ready
- Math studies include: number sense, fact memorization, math operations, word problems, fractions, geometry, measurements, time and money
- Children acquire a mathematical vocabulary to identify the operations with which they are familiar as well as those they are just learning
- Emphasis is placed on accuracy in computations and on the memorization of number facts
- Children work to understand the interrelationship of number operations and to differentiate mathematical concepts
- Elementary children use language to explore their imaginations, to aid their research about the natural world, and to develop communication skills with friends and teachers
- Language studies include: encoding and decoding skills, reading comprehension, novel study, word study, grammar, sentence analysis, spelling, composition, poetry, drama, and public speaking
- Ample opportunities for research build a solid foundation in problem solving, innovation and communication skills and allow students to pursue their interests
- Requires students to think critically and analytically about the world and their place in it
- Appeals to the imagination and intense curiosity of the elementary student
- Cultural studies include: history, geography, world cultures, biology, botany, physical laws, the interdependence of life and the scientific method
- Builds on the child’s natural interest in peer relationships and in the world around him
- Students share responsibility for maintaining their school environment, from weeding outdoor gardens to caring for classroom animals to planning special projects.
- Lessons in assertive communication and opportunities to work with one another allow students to become effective problem solvers and team members
- The “Going Out” program encourages students to plan small field studies to support individual or small-group research projects
Art, Music, Physical Education, and Other Enrichment
- Students have weekly lessons with specialty teachers in music, art, physical education, and Spanish are offered in the afternoons.
- Classroom plays and presentations and an annual Spring Concert give students an opportunity to perform