Lower School

During the elementary school years, children begin to develop their strengths as scholars. Our goal is to nurture these strengths, encourage their curiosities, and let them know that with hard work and dedication to their studies they can achieve anything later in middle school and well beyond in life.

teacher lecturing lower school class




  • Students explore both classic and contemporary works
  • Examples of works read during these years include  Aesop’s Fables, D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Mythology, Number of the Stars, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, and poetry selections from Langston Hughes and Ogden Nash



  • First and second-grade curriculum emphasizes paragraph writing and introduces writing as an ongoing process
  • By third grade, students learn to craft a thesis statement, outline, rough draft, and a final draft
  • Fourth and fifth-graders continue to fine-tune their writing skills and learn to incorporate in-depth feedback to improve their content, structure, and grammar
  • All of our students are taught that writing is a form of creative expression and that their most vivid imaginations should always be used to color their written narratives



  • Our grammar program provides students with a toolbox to understand the relationship between words and phrases
  • We use a phonics program based on the work of Romalda Spalding (The Spalding Method) designed for students in kindergarten through sixth grade utilizing integrated instruction and multisensory techniques to teach writing and spelling 
  • Students are introduced the Wordly Wise series of workbooks to strengthen vocabulary usage and enhance reading and writing skills 



  • We continue to employ the Saxon Math Program introduced earlier in Kindergarten -Saxon Math is a proven and successful method for teaching mathematics by continually reviewing past concepts as new ones are introduced 
  • As math continues to be taught at one grade level above during the lower school years, we find this program to be effective in helping students retain and build upon basic math concepts as they gradually become more challenging



  • Our lower school students are engaged in science classes with a very hands-on approach as we encourage them to explore and experiment through with every lesson
  • We cover core ideas related to physical science, life science, earth and space sciences, engineering, technology, and the application of science in daily life
  • In addition, students love participating in our dedicated MakerSpace curriculum where they are able to translate concepts taught into hands-on projects fostering creativity and the opportunity to collaborate on ideas and inventions



  • Teaching from the Core Knowledge Curriculum, students are introduced to the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome, India, China, and Mesopotamia
  • As part of Kirby Hall’s dedication to growing responsible global citizens and encouraging respect for all cultures, we also explore contemporary contributions from Mexico, Canada, and Japan 
  • With regards to North American history, we look at the earliest Meso-american civilizations and lead up to the twentieth-century civil rights movements here preparing students for more in-depth U.S. history studies later in middle school



  • Lower school children receive Spanish instruction through Kirby Hall’s ongoing commitment to fostering bilingualism
  • Reading, writing, and speaking skills develop at a rapid pace with our accelerated program and with the goal to achieve complete fluency in middle or upper school
  • We also continue to teach about and celebrate the rich and colorful traditions in Hispanic culture and history




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Physical Education


  • The healthy benefits of being physically active are enforced in all grade levels at Kirby Hall
  • PE in lower school is a fun time for students to try both traditional and non-traditional sports as well as learn about the importance of teamwork and good sportsmanship




  • Students begin to learn about play production and theater terminology as well as start to read influential plays in history and practice the art of performing on stage
  • As always, creativity and self-expression are highly encouraged during this often much loved and engaging class period



  • We spend time enjoying singalongs and learning about different genres of music
  • A variety of instrumental families are studied and students work on keeping consistent tempos through regular practice with percussions like the bongo drums
  • The history of and importance of music in theater is also introduced in lower school



  • Notable artists throughout history and variety of art techniques are explored 
  • Students are encouraged to draw upon these lessons for inspiration as they create their own unique masterpieces through drawing, painting, sculpting, and print-making

Plan A Visit

We would love to get to know you better and discuss the future of your child. Come visit Kirby Hall and see what makes our environment special for yourself!