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Lower School Distinctives

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Lower School Distinctives

Lower School curriculum is designed to be developmentally appropriate for the ages and stages of our youngest children. Children go through similar and predictable sequences of development, but at their own pace. School years come in neat, one-year increments, but each child’s learning journey is unique.

Trinity School values the emotional and social development of children as much as their cognitive abilities. Research indicates that when emotional and social development stages are acknowledged and supported, the “executive functions” in the brain (problem-solving/decision-making) develop as well. Providing time and ample opportunities for all kinds of play, conversations, and language experiences for our young children allows the emotional and social domains to mature.

Incorporating the principles of Charlotte Mason, Trinity uses much of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education for designing curriculum and shepherding children. Mason, a British educator from the 1900’s advocated for environments where children:

  • are surrounded with the best of ideas and culture,
  • have plenty of free time for play, and space to make lots of noise,
  • are respected for who they are rather than for who they might become,
  • are given work appropriate for their developmental level, and
  • are surrounded with beauty, laughter, and many books.

What are classes like in the Lower School?

Trinity’s Lower School provides a wonderful foundation for our youngest learners.

Class sizes in Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten are 12-14 students. In addition to the homeroom teacher, each class has a dedicated full-time assistant. First grade through sixth grade classroom ratios are 10:1.

Lower School students benefit from our Singapore Math curriculum; a strong language arts curriculum; weekly classes in music, art, and PE; field trips and special celebrations; and outdoor play.

Here more about the passion for teaching at Trinity from one of our first grade teachers, Megan Wright.

Learn more about Transitional Kindergarten

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is designed for younger five-year-olds (TK students must be 5 years old by December 31). TK may match a child’s developmental age and stage in a way that helps him or her master the foundations of oral language, literature, pre-reading, and number-sense skills through hands-on and play-based activities and experiences. Group lessons are brief to keep the attention of TK students. We create a classroom atmosphere in which our youngest children have space and time to grow and thrive as they delight in learning. Learn more about TK curriculum here.

Here more about TK students from our TK teachers, Louise Holland.

The importance of play in young children

Partial-day TK and Kindergarten programs are designed to align with National Association for Early Childhood Education research and Charlotte Mason’s work that shows that: 1) that the optimal time for learning is in the morning, 2) kids need time to be kids - to play, to rest, and to recharge for the next day.

Trinity Neighborhood offers structured play, activities, and outside time after the school day ends for families whose schedules require a later pick-up. Whether your child comes home at 1:00 p.m. or later in the day, we believe he or she will leave school brimming with ideas, happy not overwhelmed, and excited to return for another great day at Trinity.

Learn more about Sixth Grade

Sixth grade is designed specifically to support and challenge students as they adjust to the initial stages of adolescence. The sixth graders are the leaders of the Lower School and are given more time to practice switching classes and adjust to a different Middle School schedule to ensure a smooth curriculum. They also have the opportunity to compete on middle school interscholastic sports teams unlike many of their peers at other schools.

Hear from our Head of School, parents, and students about what makes Trinity’s sixth grade unique in our academics, athletics, and more!