A Walk through the grades: Grades 1-5
The Academic Journey Begins
Ready for academic exploration, first graders love to learn through movement, stories and the arts. Language lessons come to life through poetry and song. Students fill their Main Lesson books with illustrations that represent letters of the alphabet, as the beginning of their journey into reading and writing. Mental math practice begins, introducing students to the processes. There is plenty of time for free play outdoors.
The students and their class teacher begin a multi-year journey together, while special subject teachers introduce French, handwork and movement. Teachers inspire an interest in learning and cultivate a spirit of respect and group cohesion.
Emerging Awareness and Focus
By second grade, students possess an emerging a sense of themselves, as well as a growing awareness of the perspectives, imperfections and gifts of those around them. They begin to recognize the impact of individual actions and are drawn to stories of the saints and legends of noble people with purpose. They identify with animal characters from stories such as Aesop’s Fables and Native American and African Legends.
Recitation of poems, rhymes and tongue twisters help students with phonetic awareness and clarity of speech as they delve into reading. They learn cursive writing and work with addition, times and division tables as well as borrowing and place value.
Around the age of nine, students begin to think more independently and critically, sensing that one day they will make their own way in the world. Inspired to learn about the practicalities of everyday life, third graders explore measurement, time and money. They work hands-on outside the classroom cooking and building shelters.
In the classroom, students continue academic practice in reading, writing, grammar and mathematics and begin to read musical notation on their wooden flutes. They explore global creation myths, and the story of the ancient Hebrew people who sought a home on earth and built community.
Adventure and Curiosity
Fourth graders are becoming more independent, developing a curiosity about the world and how people choose to live in it. Throughout the year, students learn about their environment, the animal kingdom and New Hampshire geography and history. They are eager to work and ready to take up the complexity of new subjects like fractions, violin, chorus and clay modeling.
Captivated by stories of adventure and misadventure and identifying with heroes and larger-than-life characters, Norse Mythology and epic tales in world literature provide the backdrop for fourth grade work in reading, grammar and descriptive writing.
A Time of Harmony
With new capacities for thought and reflection, fifth graders are excited begin their study of human history, world geography and ancient civilizations. Students possess an emerging sense of community and personal responsibility and are creative, confident and eager to work cooperatively.
In mathematics, students delve into the relationships between numbers through ratio and proportion. They explore the earth through the world of plants — trees, flowers, algae, mushrooms and mosses, as well as the geography and climate that influences plant growth. Woodworking is introduced and each student begins studying an instrument of his/her choice to play in the beginning strings or band group.