The Mandell School -> Old Content -> K-8 -> Lower School

Lower School

The Lower School is at the heart of the school. The students arrive in Kindergarten aware of the world around them, ready to engage and discover, and move up to Fifth Grade with that same delight in learning. They find themselves members of a strong, inclusive classroom community, equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to flourish in the Upper School.

Maintaining that sense of wonder and exploration that begins in Preschool is important to us: when Lower School students investigate how language works or how numbers fit together they are doing so in a spirit of experimentation and risk-taking. This will allow them to ask, “What if?” and “Why?” as well as, “What’s the right answer?” Along with critical thinking we also teach them the skills, facts and provide opportunities to ask increasingly complicated questions. It is essential to know your math facts and how to write clearly, if you want your inventive solutions to be understood by others.

The Lower School is unique in that it has a thoughtfully written integrated curriculum written expressly for the school by its curriculum director. Rather than relying solely on the passions of individual teachers or imposing an idea from above, the curriculum has evolved as the school has grown. It is integrated with the work in the many specials classes that support and illuminate the work in the homeroom. The teachers model the collaborative nature of the work we want the children to do as they put the curriculum into practice, adapting it to the needs and passions of the class, but always maintaining the high standards we measure ourselves against. We know the children in our division, and we want to see them develop and flourish for who they are, under our guidance and care.

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