Early childhood (Junior Kindergarten–3rd Grade) is a special age for children as they move from a sensory, self-centered, familial experience of the world to a more social and ever expanding intellectual understanding. Young children learn best through exploration, practice, games, play and adult guidance. During this time of rapid brain growth, children develop their skills of language and reasoning using their experiences as a foundation for further understanding. Lower School students are eager, curious, imaginative, driven, enthusiastic and inquisitive. Using these characteristics, teachers develop curriculum and activities that interest the students and support multiple ways to learn and develop life long habits. Students’ bodies need to move as they grow; therefore, we build outdoor play, exploration and recess into the curriculum for our youngest children. Within the curriculum and through the facilitation of their teachers, students construct meaning and develop skills through hands-on exploration, integrated learning, practice, relationship building, self-reflection and the love of learning.
Using both structured and exploratory methods, the Lower School teachers support and facilitate Parker’s mission of educating students “to think and act with empathy, courage and clarity as responsible citizens and leaders in a democratic society and global community.” The list below outlines many of the experiences that teach our students the skills they need as young citizens in a democratic society.