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Lower School


Philosophy

The Pingry Lower School aims to inspire a lifelong commitment to learning, self-discovery, and social responsibility and to promote excellence at all levels of school life.  Our students participate in an academic program that combines comprehensive, hands-on instruction, individualized attention, and extensive co-curricular opportunities, preparing them for the challenges of Middle School, Upper School, and beyond.  We pride ourselves in providing our children with a solid academic foundation, critical thinking skills essential in a rapidly changing world, and a safe haven for collaboration, exploration, and discovery.

The Pingry experience is based on mutual respect and personal integrity.  All members of the Pingry community are expected to honor the rights of others, to conduct themselves at all times in a moral and decent manner and to see this responsibility as an integral part of their lives at Pingry and as citizens of the larger community of the world.  Therefore, the Lower School strives to build character, foster personal growth, and instill in its students the spirit of Pingry's Honor Code through the positive behavior described in the child friendly language of the Lower School Code of Conduct.  From kindergarten forward, Lower School students learn and discuss principles of honorable behavior, the celebration of diversity, and the practice of teamwork and other essential social and interpersonal skills.  These dialogues are complemented by community service activities, which begin in kindergarten and expose our children to the value of helping others through a variety of age-appropriate, hands-on activities.

To help satisfy Pingry's greater mission-to enable all students to reach their fullest intellectual, moral, creative, and physical potential, we also believe in encouraging our students to take increasing responsibility for their educational experiences as they mature.  Through study skills, organization, and attention to process, Lower School Students begin to develop the initiative, self-reliance, and independence essential for making the most of their years at Pingry.

Finally, the Lower School acknowledges the importance of parental involvement to a child's overall educational experience.  In addition to formal bi-annual parent/teacher conferences, our teachers, curricular specialists, and administrators reach out frequently to the parents to build and maintain an informed, productive relationship.

 

Curriculum

The Lower School curriculum is designed to stimulate life-long curiosity and exploration by making learning an engaging process that enables the youngest generation of scholars to build a solid foundation of knowledge, skills, and enduring understandings.

While traditional coursework in language arts, mathematics, science, Spanish, and social studies comprises the foundation of the Lower School curriculum, class activities, lessons, and assessments emphasize experiential learning.  Every minute of the school day, whether spent inside or outside the classroom, is looked upon as an opportunity for new understanding and growth.  Art, music, and drama classes provide outlets for student creativity and self-expression.  Technology and library classes impart foundations in research and library skills.  In addition, all these subjects enrich classroom areas of study through designed integrated units.   Daily physical education classes and recess afford opportunities for play, social interaction, and lessons in teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership.

Historically, Lower School students have enjoyed a seamless transition when they move up to the Middle School on the Martinsville Campus.  The fifth grade departmentalized curriculum is designed to ready our students for the class schedules and intellectual and organizational challenges that await them at the Martinsville Campus.  Two cornerstone courses in the fifth grade program---"Decisions" and "Study Skills" expose students to problem-solving, note taking, and learning strategies to prepare them for Middle School level coursework.    

For more information, please visit the Curriculum Guide.

 

Curriculum Program Quick Facts

Language Arts   Taught daily from kindergarten with an emphasis on phonics and developing writing skills.

Mathematics   Taught daily from kindergarten with an emphasis on developing word problem analysis.

Foreign Language   Spanish is taught daily from first grade.

Science   Beginning in kindergarten, taught by specialized teachers in one of three science labs.

Social Studies   Taught daily from kindergarten.

Art   Beginning in kindergarten, taught by specialized teacher in our studio.

Music   Taught from kindergarten by specialized teachers. Children have the opportunity to participate in orchestra, band, and hand bell choir in fifth grade.

Physical Education   Classes taught daily beginning in kindergarten.

Technology   Classes begin in kindergarten in our computer lab. Word processing begins in fourth grade.

Decisions   A course taught in fifth grade, presenting problem-solving and conflict-resolution strategies in the context of real-life situations.

Study Skills   Taught in fifth grade and focusing on test taking, listening and organizational skills, researching and note taking, and public speaking.

Library   Classes are taught at all grade levels. Children are read to and learn library and research skills.

Drama             

 

Classes are taught at all grade levels

 

 

 

 

 

Short Hills Campus (Lower School)
50 Country Day Drive
Short Hills, NJ 07078
P (973) 379 4550 | F (973) 379 1861
Basking Ridge Campus (Middle & Upper Schools)
131 Martinsville Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
P (908) 647 5555 | F (908) 647 3703
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