Amid all of the delightful and boisterous activity in our Lower School, an intense process takes shape: children begin their lifetime work of learning how to learn. For these critical years of kindergarten through grade 4, we’ve shaped an environment that nurtures self-confidence, self-advocacy and a love of learning. We bring our experts—teachers, learning specialist, speech-language pathologist, math specialist and counselor—together frequently to focus on benefits for each child. Our flexible curriculum helps students discover and address individual learning styles, while keeping the structure that all children need to frame and achieve goals.
The Lower School offers a full day academic program beginning in kindergarten and extending through grade 4. We spend each day with the most spirited and enthusiastic of McLean’s Mustangs laying down a foundation for all of the work that we do in our Middle and Upper Schools. The focus for the K-4 years is not only to provide each child with the gentle care, routines and strategies for academic and social success, but to build the levels of their trust, self esteem and self-advocacy.
The K-4 faculty team works to bring innovation into our classrooms through a very high level of commitment to expertise and excellence. We regularly pilot new programs and methods in order to project their success for our students. It’s important to us that we have a common, shared knowledge base in order to provide consistency for our students and help the children to experience success as they learn new things. It also enables us to create a Student Learning Profile™ for each child, as well as a list of teaching strategies that work best in various subject areas.
We cultivate confident learners in Lower School by initiating a progression of readiness that involves team-work between students, parents and faculty. Leading small groups of children with similar learning styles and competencies, teachers develop stimulating lessons in reading, language arts, word study and math that allow children to progress to different levels at their own pace. Manipulatives, learning software, and hands-on activities, direct and inspire exploration.
Inviting learning spaces allow the children to feel welcome and comfortable in their school home. Every child learns that acts of kindness, effort, and citizenship are rewarded with Golden Awards which are proudly displayed. Achievements and accomplishments are recognized and celebrated in our classrooms. Students and their teachers take a Golden Hand Pledge daily to renew their commitment to maintaining a safe and supportive school environment. As members of the Lower School community, we strive daily to be GOLDEN.