Guiding Tomorrow's Hearts and Minds

Lower School | K-4

Core Curriculum

Reading and Language Arts

Reading for joy is foundational to children flourishing as learners. Students arrive at school excited to learn, and it is our goal to build upon their love of reading and natural inclination for storytelling!

Teachers provide students the opportunity to explore their passions and creative selves. Comprehension, critical thinking skills and phonetic strategies are developed using myriad strategies. Writing instruction is an effective blend of curriculum such as the “Lucy Caulkins Reading and Writing Workshop” from Columbia Teachers College, a word study approach to spelling and phonics through “Fundations, Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading” and “Handwriting Without Tears.” Teachers enhance students’ understanding with supplemental materials that allow for further differentiation. 

Math

Students are not simply taught “how” to do a given problem, but instead, develop a variety of problem-solving tools and explore which tools to use and when.

The study of math focuses on developing students’ understanding of mathematical concepts, their proficiency with key skills and the ability to solve complex and novel problems. Critical thinking skills are vastly important when building a mathematical foundation for students. The primary curriculum in kindergarten through fifth grade is “Bridges in Mathematics,” published by the Math Learning Center and developed by math teachers with the support of the National Science Foundation.

Science

Investigate, observe, compare, classify, wonder… when you visit a science class in the lower school, you will see students doing just this.

The hands-on program emphasizes the scientific method and process - skills that are essential in investigating the natural world. Students complete units of study in the areas of life, earth and physical science incorporating exploration, experimentation and cooperative group work.

Social Studies

Community is an important value at St. Matthew’s, and one that extends beyond the hallways of our school.

Students are taught to look beyond to the greater communities, both local and global, in which we belong. Cooperative group work and extensive field study units support the learning objectives of the social studies program. Map and geography skills are integrated in all lessons as students learn the importance of place in the context of history.