Lower School Course of Study
At Wooster School we create opportunities for learning. We dedicate ourselves to developing a capacity and a love of learning in our children first and foremost. Our youngest learners are just beginning to explore the wideness of the world, to see that there are wonders much bigger than their own inventions. Our mission is to help young people become avid and skilled readers, writers, and inquirers. Our work aims to prepare kids for any reading and writing task that they will face or set for themselves, to turn them into life-long, confident readers and writers who display agency and independence in their future endeavors.
In the Lower School, children are provided with the foundation and background they need to successfully pursue a literate life. Children learn, through immersion and guided participation as they become more independent.
All students are known. Teachers across grades get to know each student personally. From early morning arrival, to rotating lunch tables, to recess duty, and end-of-day pick-ups, teachers are building relationships with students. We take pride in calling ourselves a family, providing a warm, nurturing environment for our students. This allows them to feel socially and academically safe. Small class size helps foster this trust and safety. Every student is recognized for his/her accomplishments and teaching is individualized to ensure that every student reaches his or her potential. Bi-weekly staff meetings are held to discuss students, Grade 3 through Grade 5, and support them in their educational and social success at Wooster.
The Singapore Math philosophy is based on teaching students to think mathematically. It teaches students about the manipulability of numbers and how math concepts relate to one another. Through an approach to instruction that provides direct teaching as well as problem solving and visuals, Singapore Math helps students access higher order math skills by establishing a solid foundation of basic skills, and then building upon them.
Our literacy curriculum is comprised of rich units of study that are aligned Grade 3 through Grade 5. With a strong skill base, we teach children the love of reading and writing. This model provides students the ability to read and write in multiple genres, while fostering an appreciation for the beauty and creativity of the written word. Collaboration between teachers enhances the continuity of instruction for our students as they progress through the grades. In the early grades, Fundations, a phonics program teaching decoding and encoding, has been implemented to lay a strong foundation in beginning reading and writing. Daily 5/CAFE, teaching basic writing skills, Notice and Note are also cornerstones of our literacy instructions.
Our Co-curricular teachers work closely together and with the grade level to create project based instruction which is integrated and focused personalized learning. Lower School students work with specialized teachers in:
- Studio Art
- Physical Education
What really sets us apart is our focus on Project-Based Co-Curricular collaboration. Students are given the opportunity to practice their growing literacy and math skills during co-curricular classes. Grade level and Co-Curricular teachers work together to provide cohesive experiences that span classes and content. For example, in grade 4 when students are studying Ancient Greece as part of the Social Studies curriculum they are given the following projects to expand their learning by:
- Creating pottery in the form of ancient Greek art
- Studying and recreating the ancient Olympic games in PE
- Learning and performing ancient Greek Music
- Studying and creating simple machines and contributions of ancient scientists in Science
- Developing animation shorts in Media showcasing original Greek myths
At every grade level this type of study culminates with a showcase for the community where students show what they have learned.