Gordon’s Lower School provides students the foundation for academic and social success. A conceptual and skills-driven curriculum uses themed lessons that span several subject areas and offers an expansive and engaging learning experience for children. The Lower School curriculum includes many perspectives while developing in each student a sense of respect and responsibility that leads them to navigate the world beyond the Gordon campus. Students work individually, in pairs and small groups, in the classroom group and as a full grade, mastering skills while working with a wide variety of their peers.
Class sizes are small, and teachers are often paired with residents who are pursuing a Masters in Teaching degree, which provides an additional trained instructor in the classroom. Children receive the individual attention they need to ignite their intellectual curiosity, and classroom groups allow each child’s social skills to grow.
Science and social studies lessons are taught thematically, stretching students’ skills in writing, collaborating, and use of technology. The subject matter is approached from multiple perspectives, and invites gentle debate, creative problem-solving, and cross-discipline connections.
The Math in Focus curriculum, first introduced in Kindergarten, moves students from concrete topics to abstract understanding of number concepts, patterns and relationships. Spanish instruction continues throughout Lower School, emphasizing language development and the study of several Spanish-speaking cultures.
In addition to the core academic work, each Lower School student attends specialized instruction in visual arts (two weekly classes), physical education (three weekly classes), music (two weekly classes), and weekly classes with Gordon’s librarians in the Joukowsky Family Library. In third and fourth grade, students visit the Creamer Science Lab twice a week for extended lessons in robotics, physics, biology and more. All Lower School students spend ample time outside, enjoying two outdoor recesses each day on Gordon’s beautiful twelve acre campus. At lunchtime, students eat with faculty at small tables in Gordon School’s dining hall.
Gordon’s literacy specialist and math specialist work with students individually and in small groups and oversee individual student reading and math progress. Technology collaborators team up with faculty to integrate technology into lessons and to track the ever-changing skill set that students will need.