Lower School

English/Language Arts

The LFS lower school language arts program guides students to becoming strong, confident, and joyful lifelong readers, speakers, writers, and listeners.

Students interact with language in many different ways, including conversation, discussion, stories, and books, both fiction and non-fiction. In our language rich classrooms we fuel the imagination and encourage exploration while developing strong decoding, inferential, and comprehension skills in every student.


This curriculum is flexible to suit the individual learner, meeting the needs of each student based on their strengths, needs, and interests. Our early readers learn phonemic skills and enjoy a variety of genres and authors, reading prose and poetry, making connections and responding to multiple viewpoints. Cultural awareness and social justice is addressed through content that is selected to coincide with areas explored in history lessons and ones which represent the students’ diverse experiences.


Students will develop writing skills by producing work and going through the process of drafting, revision, editing, and proofreading their own writing, paying special attention to vocabulary, mechanics, handwriting, and spelling.

History and Social Studies

Through the history curriculum, students will learn about their place in time and space by curating a holistic understanding of the passage of time.

Beginning with the Big Bang story and continuing throughout the history of life on Earth, students will learn about what time is, how it affects us, and how we are connected through it.


Early grades will work on telling time and elapsed time work. They will also look at passage of time in their own lives through personal biography and timeline work. There will be crossover with language work in studying verb tenses and the ideas of before and after, past and present.


Through timeline work, students gain understanding of how things grow and change over time, emergence of inventions and how they changed our world, as well as migration over time and how that changed our global landscape.


Studies of human life will focus on the fundamental human needs which weave together different global cultures throughout time, recognizing and appreciating the differences in how humans get their needs met. A three-year cycle will cover studies of the civilizations of Africa, Oceana, Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, recognizing the true history of human development in each global region. Coming closer to home, students will learn about U.S. history and government, along with state and local history, as part of our mission to develop global and conscious citizens, and critical thinkers. These themes will be reinforced through language and literature studies that are connected to our continent studies. The students will explore these topics and related areas that interest them through research, developing writing and research skills.


As students learn about our world, it is vital that they understand the Earth, its physical history and formation, the various land and water forms, and how we use and read maps. Students will make connections to land forms and human needs and civilization growth.

Math

Confident, excited, strong, and flexible are the four key words that guide our community of young mathematicians at LFS.

Our mathematics curriculum is designed to meet students where they are and guide them to a deep understanding of number sense, calculations, patterns, geometry, probability, money, time, mental math, number operations, data and statistics, and algebraic concepts.


We encourage students to look for patterns and relationships through real-world investigations and see how mathematics and geometry are integrated into their daily lives and the natural world. We balance the practice of specific strategies and processes while encouraging students to develop and share their own strategies for solving problems. Through practice and deep knowledge, we help students develop a sense of joy and excitement about math.

Science

The LFS science program is hands-on and experiential. We encourage students to ask questions, experiment, build, plan, and play.

Science is integrated throughout the school day and the curriculum. Our students come to think of themselves as experimenters, engineers, and thinkers and are confident in their ability to do science. Students in each grade participate in our LFS STEAM fair, where they showcase their age-appropriate investigations, experiments, and projects.

Lower School science courses cover a wide range of topics and include physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental science activities. Kindergarten and first-grade science follows a seasonal framework and builds on children’s natural curiosity and wonder, investigating phenomena such as weather, seasons, terrestrial ecosystems, life cycles, plants and animals, liquids and solids, and more. In second through fifth grades, science is taught through themes (coral reefs, the deep ocean, the local garden, human bodies, feeding the world, and more), engineering challenges, experiments, and field experiences.

World Language

Lower school students engage with Spanish on an immersive level, encouraging interaction with the language and the development of listening and speaking skills.

Lower school students will work with Spanish songs, stories, and games to get them interacting with the language in an immersive and conversational context. The Spanish curriculum is developed with native speakers and new learners in mind, to accommodate all members of the Lancaster community. Students will be involved in Spanish 3 times a week for 30 minutes with a small group of other students.

Through games and conversations, new vocabulary will be regularly introduced to learners and will be continually reinforced with continued interaction. The goal of the Spanish curriculum is to make students excited about and familiar with the language, and to build foundational conversational skills that will aid them in further language development.

We chose to focus on Spanish as a world language to serve the Lancaster community, and to better equip our students to be active and knowledgable global citizens.