Lower School Core Curriculum



Our methods of reading and spelling instruction vary according to the needs of each child, as not all children will benefit from a single method. Many children benefit from the Orton-Gillingham approach, allowing them to work toward the goals of decoding, fluency, and comprehension.

MathStudents points at a book's pages as they read

Our faculty is trained in multiple approaches to math instruction, including Singapore Math® and Stern Structural Arithmetic programs. Lower School students move sequentially from the concrete to the pictorial to the abstract as they learn increasingly complex material. Previously learned skills and concepts are continuously reinforced before a new skill is introduced.


Our Stephen Gaynor School Writing Program enables students to build skills sequentially as they learn about sentence structure, grammar, and paragraph development. A key component of the program focuses on the use of strategies such as graphic organizers to visually represent students’ writing. Taking students through every stage of the writing process, the program helps prepare them for complex writing assignments, including research papers, lab reports, and creative stories.

Social StudiesA student stands next to his presentation about Zeus, dressed in Roman costume.

Our social studies curriculum focuses on central themes, such as how natural resources and the environment impact the way people live. The curriculum is profoundly integrated with our reading and writing curriculums to further enhance literacy skills. Art and multimedia projects enable students to engage with the concepts and express their understanding in various ways.


Lower School students participate in a fun, informative, and hands-on science curriculum. They learn to apply the scientific method and participate in age-appropriate projects such as constructing pulley systems, making (and flying) kites, and creating waterwheels to learn about simple machines.