Elementary | Grades 1 - 4
Active learning is at the heart of everything we do on the RCS Lower Campus. You can hear it in the sounds of children collaborating on group projects, engaging in meaningful class discussions, discovering possibilities in our Imagination Space, and speaking during assemblies and performances. Students in Grades 1 through 4 explore the process of experimentation, enhance their critical thinking skills, delve deeper into language and mathematics, bring history to life, create with technology, and further expand their minds. Our teachers inspire passion and ignite curiosity.
Literacy growth continues as children make the critical transition from learning to read to reading to learn and begin to develop a voice in writing. There is a natural progression in every aspect of our curriculum as students build confidence through risk taking, personal responsibility, and increased independence to lead with character. Our children experience the importance of being a significant member of a community.
The first grade curriculum encourages curiosity, independence, and resilience. Students take risks in a classroom environment that supports asking questions and sharing observations. Across disciplines, projects come to life through innovative hands-on activities that encourage creative problem solving while establishing a solid academic foundation.
The second grade curriculum uses an interdisciplinary framework to solidify students’ skills as readers and writers and to explore concepts of community, geographic awareness, and historical time periods.
The third grade curriculum further challenges and stretches students as the academic expectations heighten to ensure a solid foundation in fundamental reading, writing and math skills and begins to focus increasingly on the preparation of each student for the middle school years. Interdisciplinary study expands and helps students cultivate their critical and creative thinking skills through content driven discussions about the nature of dissent, change, and risk.
Students are also encouraged to develop greater independence by taking ownership of their daily routine. Organizational skills are emphasized and include such practices as the use of a daily academic planner to track assignments and greater integration between the two homerooms that requires more movement from class to class within the school day.
As leaders of the Lower Campus, the fourth grade curriculum is entirely built on securing the elementary school skills needed to transition to the Upper Campus in 5th grade. With increased independence, routines that were guided in third grade such as the daily planner become even greater expectations in fourth. The children increasingly work in groups across the two homerooms that allow for developmentally appropriate challenges and support in ability-based groups.
A cornerstone of the year is the end of year Moving Up Ceremony where the fourth graders are recognized for all their hard work and contributions on the Lower Campus in front of their families, peers and those younger students in the community who aspire to be strong leaders of the Lower Campus one day.