The Primary Grades (Lower School) at Presentation are child-centered and developmentally appropriate. It is in these grades that we lay down the foundation for the student’s future school life.
“ Every stage of development is complete in itself. The three year old is not an incomplete 5 year old. The child is not an incomplete adult. Never are we simply on our way! Always we have arrived! Enjoy now! ” - JC Pearce
Our teachers carefully guide the K - 4th grade child, instilling in them a love of learning, confidence in their own voice and respect for others. We value a young child’s natural desire to learn through exploration, creation, and self-expression.
We want our children to see themselves as part of the world, dream big, and then equip them for success! Beginning in Kindergarten students learn what it means to be a Presentation student, which to us means students who embody the ability to Love, Learn, and Lead. Even the youngest child can see their calling to love others, learn about the world around them, and how they can be a leader today and for the future!
Helping children develop their natural strengths and build skills means honoring the whole child. Beyond rigorous academics, our lower school children spend significant portions of the day immersed in Spanish, art, music, drama, and PE.
Our Language Arts program provides the building blocks for students that allow them to explore and develop language arts skills and concepts. Enveloping the children in a literacy-rich environment, our comprehensive language arts program lays the foundation for literary growth and self-expression, and continues on with them through their subsequent years at Presentation.
The years spent in Lower School are marked by incredible growth. These are critical years when a child moves from learning to read, to reading to learn. Focus moves from phonics in K-2 to literary analysis in 3rd and 4th. The program is supported by 6 + 1 Writing Traits. Students develop not only the art of verbal storytelling, but also the skills to put pen to paper, to share their thoughts, opinions, and to clearly demonstrate their learning in a written format.
In addition to an aligned curriculum, a similarly aligned philosophy and approach to mathematics ensures all Presentation School students receive consistent quality math instruction. We are always striving to ensure that all students are properly supported and challenged. That means being able to meet diverse capacities within the classroom. Our teachers attend the Making Math Real Institute. Making Math Real (MMR), providing best practices and multisensory structured approaches to teaching math K-12. Teachers know how to link the three processing modalities (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) at the same time, and how to aid students in moving from the hands-on experience of concrete math to It is specific reconstruction in abstract, symbolic forms.
Our goal is to create mathematical thinkers who understand how numbers work, and how to apply that understanding throughout their lives. Mathematics is taken beyond the basics to open the world of numbers, math logic and number sense to the young mind. A hands-on approach is emphasized, as are mental math activities and conceptual projects. Students build a strong foundation for solving complex mathematical problems, while tackling the necessary simple memorization of number facts and operations.
The Lower School math program guides the students from basic facts and number families, to place value and equations. Once fluent in all things numbers, up to three digits with regrouping, students are introduced to larger composite numbers and a formal introduction to multiplication and division. The rising 4th grade student has further tackled division, fractions, and an introduction to geometry.
Science and Social Studies
Science and Social Studies are critical pathways for students to make connections between one’s self, community, and the natural world. Social Studies and Science instruction are grounded in real-world, experiential learning. The Lower School uses Mystery Science to engage and inspire a young person’s scientific thinking and curiosity.
Our goal is to engage students in investigating and making sense of the complexity and wonder of the world they will one day lead. It is common to see students building weather stations, while reading Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, or building flying machines while learning about the basics of aerodynamics. Reading about the California Gold Rush can be an abstract historical idea, but historical learning, partnered with an overnight field trip to California Gold Country, and integrated with a geology unit, creates a dynamic platform to better understand our socially and environmentally complex state.
Children and their families are unique in their personal values and beliefs. At Presentation, these values and traditions are honored, while still providing a shared foundation for the spiritual exploration and the social and emotional development of our students.
Presentation School’s Faith curriculum seeks to do the following:
- Introduce school traditions while valuing diverse individual religious perspectives
- Encourage students to think outside of themselves
- Provide meaningful service opportunities on campus as well as in our local and global communities which are reinforced through sound instruction and reflection in the classroom
- Encourage compassion and understanding and develop leadership
- Invite staff, parents, and community to active participation in the spiritual life of our school
- Lower School students take part in planning and leading liturgies, based on monthly gospel themes and service-learning opportunities.