1st through 6th
In first through six grades, small classes and individual and small group instruction engage, challenge, and support each child in reaching his or her full potential.
While our program focuses on meeting individual needs and on each student’s unique contributions and responsibilities, we also seek to create a strong community spirit. Regular all-school Gatherings provide students with informal opportunities to share their classroom activities with the rest of the school, sing, or celebrate together. Weekly Meeting for Worship provides students and teachers an opportunity for silence, reflection and sharing.
Throughout our language arts program we strive to instill a life-long love of writing and reading in each of our students. Writing and reading are interconnected and integrated with the other school subjects. Literature from classroom libraries and the school library provides the foundation for our reading program. Using a literature based, workshop approach to reading and writing encourages students to see themselves as active readers engaged in conversations with the authors of the books that they read. This approach also helps students see themselves as authors who are encouraged to work on many kinds of writing including journals, narratives, reports, creative writing, letters, reflections to learning, and recording information. Students are also encouraged to learn from their favorite authors, treating well loved books as mentor texts.
All students participate in oral presentations and performances both in the class and in at weekly all school gatherings. Students gain valuable experience in oral expression for a variety of audiences. They also receive positive feedback from other classes affirming their studies and presentations through letters of congratulations, cards and posters. Walk through our campus and you will see evidence of the language arts program in the form of student projects, writing posted on bulletin boards, reading and writing notebooks kept by students, and student and class publications.
Our Social Studies program encourages growth in children's awareness of themselves, their families, the classroom, the school community and the larger world. Children learn about cultural traditions, interdependency, areas of commonality and difference among people, and the roles of conflict and change in human growth. Children gain experience in: map skills, making comparisons, finding contrasts, exploring their own and others’ perspectives, listening and discussing.
Throughout the school the curriculum centers on themes in which children are encouraged to explore, make discoveries, and formulate questions. Themes vary during the course of the year. In the first through sixth grades, language, science, social awareness, math, music, and art are integrated into the curriculum thematically when possible.
The Science program encourages children to question, investigate, and act on their innate curiosity about the natural world. Through inquiry, hands-on science experiments and activities children work to develop skills in observation, recording, questioning, predicting, experimenting, classifying, interpreting and discussing. Learning gardens throughout the campus provide opportunities for extensive hands-on environmental science, where students can learn about natural processes, connect with nature, interact with the local ecosystem, nurture creativity, and develop a respectful relationship with nature. Students can be found engaging in a wide variety of projects on campus through weeding, planting, composting, building planting beds and discussing how to improve campus recycling of paper.
We encourage children to see mathematical relationships in the world around us. Students explore math concepts, patterns, and operations through the use of a variety of concrete materials. Mathematical concepts are explored through the math program and through manipulative materials, math games, discussions, problem solving, computer applications, cooking and other practical life experiences. Our program asks students to understand mathematical concepts and how numbers work. We look at the history of mathematics and contributions made by different cultures to the body of mathematical knowledge. We strive to educate students who know more than how to do something (algorithms) and instead know that there are multiple approaches to a math problem and how to discern which approach might be most productive. Our goal is to have students who can apply mathematical understanding both in and out of the math classroom.
Students acquire familiarity and facility with computers in their classrooms. They enjoy writing on the computer and using word processing programs to type their edited writings and “publish” their completed works. Computers are networked to facilitate research possibilities. Students in first through sixth grade have access to classroom laptop computers. Fifth and sixth grade students have one-to-one laptops.
“I have friends who are teachers and they are all impressed with what my son’s second grade class is doing – the content, journaling, the development of a voice. I love the thematic learning and wish every child could learn that way.”
- LFS Parent
Lansdowne Friends School intentionally groups students in classes spanning two grades. Students remain in the same classroom for two years. Vertically grouped classes
- Create ongoing leadership opportunities for children
- Enable teachers to build strong relationships with students and families with continuity over two years
- Accommodate the different rates at which students develop
- Build community throughout the school by connecting students to others beyond their grade level
- Provide greater opportunity for students to develop social and emotional skills including empathy, self-esteem, and confidence
- Foster 21st century learning skills, especially cooperation, collaboration and communication.