The Lower School consists of Kindergarten through Fourth Grade.
In the Lower School each student develops a mastery of early academic skills, continued character development, and a greater understanding of God.
Typically, children at this stage love to learn and memorize facts and information. The classical approach allows children to take advantage of this natural ability, learning through playful experiences, creative performances, and the memorization of facts through songs, rhymes and jingles. Geneva School children love to sing, dance, and clap out history timelines, science facts, Bible verses, and grammar rules. Through teaching the fundamental principles of language, mathematics, science, history, French, Bible, chess, and the fine arts, students learn to think critically, write clearly, and begin to speak convincingly.
Geneva School successfully implemented Singapore math in 2009, making it one of the first schools in New York City to incorporate Singapore math into its curriculum. Singapore math teaches fewer subjects with the goal of completion, versus the spiral approach of other math programs. It adapts well to gifted math students, allowing them to delve deeper into mathematical studies instead of reviewing and learning in the more lateral math methodology. It is playful and creative in the early years and rich in graphing tools for older students. Students appreciate the ability to tackle in depth story problems at every grade level. Scores at Geneva School for the CTP math and other academic subjects have continued to remain strong and above the independent school average.
Our literature-based curriculum establishes a strong foundation in the humanities and employs the traditional subjects of phonics, punctuation, penmanship, and formal grammar. By the end of Fourth Grade, students have studied ancient history, including Egyptian, Roman, and Greek periods; world history up to the early modern period and are prepared to study U.S. History and Western civilization in Upper School.
The Kindergarten through Fourth Grade science curriculum is organized into trimester units to give an overview of fundamental topics in physics, chemistry, earth science, and biology. Class projects supplement the curriculum, which give students an opportunity to engage in scientific inquiry over the course of the school year. The goal is to continue to arouse enthusiasm and pique their natural curiosity while teaching children how to observe carefully and introduce the vocabulary of science.
First Grade studies bioluminescence in insects
Physical education and movement is an essential component of elementary education. Lower School students engage in formal physical education classes four days a week, where they develop motor skills, physical fitness, cognitive concepts such as traveling in different directions and awareness of rules and strategies in various sports, as well as personal social character traits.
Between Kindergarten and Fourth Grade, children cover a complete survey of the Bible through creative drama, song and memorization. All lower school children participate in daily devotions and weekly chapels with prepared performances of Scripture, songs, and dramatic presentations.
Students study French from Preschool through Third Grade. They commence their Latin studies in Fourth Grade, and continue in Latin through Eighth Grade.
Students continue formal chess lessons. Chess is beneficial during this phase of a child’s development because it teaches higher level thinking skills such as visualization, analysis, and critical thinking.
Lower school students explore a broad range of artists and mediums in art class. From Native American design to Islam's influence in Spanish architecture to Henri Matisse to Faith Ringgold, students learn to look at great works of art, create their own, and share what they have created. Students work in mediums ranging from collage to drawing and painting to printmaking and sculpture.
Moorish tiles, Fourth Grade
Lower School students continue to learn music with the Kodály approach. They have numerous opportunities to perform, including our annual Christmas and Spring concerts.