Lower School classes are taught by experienced, certified teachers who work as partners at the grade level and as a divisional team to ensure a comprehensive and cohesive core curriculum in language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Students also participate in music, French, physical education, science lab, art, library, and computer technology.
Lower School at Southfield is where confidence begins to grow. Students’ natural curiosity combined with experienced teachers’ direction creates the ideal scenario for developing a lifelong love of learning.
A comprehensive and integrated experience that includes reading, writing, comprehension, vocabulary, handwriting, grammar, speaking, and listening. Ultimately, children are expected to understand and practice the writing process through original, creative stories and expository essays. They build reading skills by enjoying novels of diverse genres.
This program is organized into several content strands within which all learning goals are categorized: operations and computation, numeration, patterns, functions and algebra, data and chance, measurement and reference frames, and geometry. The curriculum features real-life problem solving, reinforcement and extension of basic skills, an emphasis on communication, the integration of mathematics into other areas, and the appropriate use of technology. Mathematical skills and concepts are revisited, developed, and extended in a variety of ways, creating an exciting learning spiral over time.
The support, guidance, and expertise of a Lower School science specialist enables children to participate in hands-on experimentation in the school science laboratory. Topics include diverse ecosystems and habitats, organs and systems of the human body, the solar system, and physical science topics, such as magnets, pulleys, and simple machines. A main goal of the science program is to develop inquiring minds that can fully utilize the scientific research process.
Our curriculum focuses on studying the discovery, exploration and cultural, historical development of North America from Native Americans to the present day. Each grade level also reads, researches, and learns about an ancient civilization (Vikings, Middle Ages, Egyptians, and Greeks) during a school-wide celebration of world history.
The intelligent use and appreciation of modern technology have always been a top priority at Southfield School. Students attend technology class twice a week. They use interactive software that enriches their curriculum and further challenges their skills in math and language arts. Students also learn keyboarding, advanced word processing, and PowerPoint skills. Lower School students use iPads to enhance their learning: 1st and 2nd-grade students utilize iPad centers in the classrooms while 3rd and 4th-grade students benefit from having individual iPads, also used in the classrooms.
Lower School presents many creative and exciting ways to learn. All students use technology in their classrooms to support their work. They become immersed in a fully integrated school-wide study of ancient civilizations, where all their classes participate in preparation for Civilization Fair. Students also enjoy their turn at special grade-level events, such as Author’s Tea and Electric City.
The Lower School program provides support and enrichment in math, science, and reading through additional personnel with specific expertise in these areas. Participation in grade-level plays, holiday program performances, and a fully integrated division-wide study of ancient civilizations are a traditional part of the elementary school experience at Southfield. Additionally, Lower School students have the opportunity to take piano and Suzuki strings lessons during the school day. Lower School students also take several field trips a year to extend learning.