Lower School (Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 3)


Welcome to the Lower School at The Oakwood School! The Oakwood School is indeed a remarkable place, and we know the Lower School provides a very special opportunity for a child to grow. In fact, visitors to the Lower School often comment on its unique atmosphere. What is the difference between Oakwood and all other schools?

The Lower School consists of self-contained classrooms that use guided discovery and inquiry while setting a solid foundation in reading, writing and mathematics skills. Learning takes place through explorations that develop greater understandings of the world through science, social studies, and Spanish. Co-curricular classes as a regular part of the curriculum enhance and develop talents and interests through music, dance, visual arts, library class, and physical fitness. A social curriculum that nurtures responsive and responsible citizens rounds out the complete Lower School experience. Highlights include:

  1. Experienced educators who care deeply about each child and create safe and engaging learning communities every single day within their classrooms.  
  2. Our dedication to nurturing the development of the whole child and implementing best educational practices that are developmentally appropriate and research based.
  3. Our rigorous and enriching curriculum that prepares the youngest Oakwood students to embrace the challenging and changing world of the 21st Century.
  4. The teachers’ dedication to and expertise in teaching the foundations of reading, writing, and math.
  5. Above all, our desire to develop students who value and enjoy learning and who are capable of becoming lifelong learners, inquisitive individuals, and citizens who seek to make a difference in the world. To learn more about how the Middle School faculty helps our students to successfully transition this phase of their academic journey at Oakwood, please refer to the Lower School Division Coordinator’s letter.

Our Lower School Promise:
In Oakwood's Lower School, our teachers instill a love for learning by teaching the whole child through an enriching curriculum and customized learning in a happy, nurturing and safe environment where children want to come to school.

Curriculum

A well-rounded and carefully planned curriculum is central to creating lifelong learners. In addition to the primary focus on the core reading, writing and math disciplines, all of our students attend weekly classes in art, Spanish, music, fitness, library and hands-on lab science in our Lower School science lab and Outdoor Agricultural Student Eco-Station (OASES) micro farm. To learn more about how the STEAM in Lower School at Oakwood, please refer to the Lower School Division Coordinator’s letter. Students also enjoy recess twice daily, which is an important opportunity for motor development and for social development through free play. Additionally, they are exposed to learning outside the classroom through experiential off-campus field trips and on-campus special presentations. Students also learn about being part of their community through grade specific active participation in service learning projects.

Oakwood faculty, division coordinators, and staff are committed to the success of our students. Our teachers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on most days when not teaching class for individualized assistance as needed and for scheduled meetings with parents. At the beginning of the year, the school hosts a Curriculum Night for the Middle School parents to learn more about the programs and meet the faculty. The school regularly schedules Parent/Teacher Conferences at the end of the first quarter with the parents and core teachers to review progress. If additional support is needed, our teachers work with your child and the school’s Student Support Services. The Curriculum Guide provides more detailed information on the core academic subject areas and co-curriculars for Lower School.

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Lower School - Did You Know?

What is unique about the Lower School at Oakwood?
The entire Lower School experience includes the following features:

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Academic and Co-Curricular Development
  • Our teachers:
    •  offer a nurturing environment for the students while also promoting independence
    • utilize time management strategies to make effective and efficient use of teaching time
    • recognize that each student is an individual and view academic growth on a continuum rather than base promotion to the next grade level on specific benchmarks/grades.
    • frequent correspond with parents to keep them abreast of behavioral and developmental progress, as well as happenings in the classroom through email and blogs
  • Students move from classroom to classroom for special classes, rather than remaining in the homeroom all day. This begins in Pre-K.

  • An early foundation in S.T.E.A.M. (see Division Coordinator Letter) with:
    • a focused science program that begins in Pre-K in the newly built Lower School science lab
    • technology introduction in Pre-K with iPads available for each student and laptop integration starting in 2nd grade
    • music and art classes with Lower School specific teachers and teaching spaces also starting in Pre-K

  • Beginning in Pre-K, Spanish is taught twice a week with a Lower School specific Spanish teacher and separate classroom.

  • Flexible recess time throughout the day promotes physical fitness, social skills and development of creativity.

  • Athletic program are available with intramural options for grades 2-3.

  • The Good Deeds Club for 3rd graders enriches student development.
Social, Cultural, and Community Building
  • Division Meetings -- Tuesday morning Division-wide meetings foster community among all Middle School grades led by the elected Middle School SGA representatives.

  • Mentoring Program -- H.U.G.S. (Help Us Grow Successfully) pairs 5th graders with Kindergarteners to build social connectedness regularly throughout the year.
  • All grades morning meetings -- designed to promote community-building, which allows our students to learn what it is like to be part of something bigger than themselves.

  • Community Service – Beginning in Pre-K, students are engaged in grade- and division-level hands-on, student-initiated, and student-driven community service projects throughout the year. Learn more about Community Service at Oakwood.
Meet the Division Coordinator