The curriculum for elementary students in grades 1-5 reflects a classical tradition and is introduced to students in an enriching and nurturing environment at our independent school. The curriculum is a balance of academics, fine arts, performing arts, technology, and physical education, and it provides each student with a well-rounded learning experience. Small class sizes allow teachers to focus attention on developmental stages and individualized learning styles of students, while encouraging creativity and inquiry in students. The curriculum has been designed to provide a solid academic foundation.
Reading, grammar, spelling, vocabulary
Research skills, public speaking
The writing process, which emphasizes writing traits, is taught and refined at all grade levels
Italic handwriting is introduced in grade 1; cursive handwriting is introduced in grade 2
Instruction in grades 1-5 includes number sense and operations of numbers, algebraic thinking and problem solving, data analysis and probability, measurement, and geometry. Mathematics instruction is designed to prepare students for more advanced math in middle school.
Students learn about many areas of social studies, including civics, history, geography, economics, cultural awareness and governments. These experiences broaden their understanding and knowledge of the world.
Grade 1 explores the community and organization of cities
Grade 2 studies cities, countries, nations and continents
Grade 3 studies other cultures and looks at the United States from a historical perspective of change
Grade 4 studies California history and geography
Grade 5 explores the nation’s western movement and the history of the United States up to the Civil War
Instruction consists of hands-on activities, field trips, and Gooden’s garden experiences:
Grade 1 studies Life Cycles- hatching butterflies and chickens; Pebbles, Sand and Silt; and Balance and Motion
Grade 2 studies New Plants, Air and Weather, and Solid and Liquids
Grade 3 explores Environments and Plants through a program entitled “Roots and Shoots,” which is offered through the LA Country Arboretum; students also study Physics of Sound
Grades 4 and 5 use science textbooks and supplement instruction with lab experiences in the middle school science lab.
Instruction is developmental during the lower school years. Student skills are developed within the Spanish curriculum.
Visual and performing arts are an important part of the curriculum: all students have music and art instruction every week. The art studio is a wonderful space devoted to art making in its many forms.
Grades 1 and 2 students participate in vocal music and use Orff instruments and movement activities
Beginning in grade 3, students receive instruction in stringed instruments (violin or cello)
Grade 4 students continue with strings instruction and also begin using violas
Grade 5 students continue with strings instruction or receive beginning instruction in winds or brass instruments
Students in grades 1-5 participate in annual drama performances
Students in grades K through 3 receive instruction four times a week
Students in grades 4 and 5 receive instruction in three times a week
Students participate in the Presidential Physical Fitness Award Activities every spring
Students receive instruction beginning in grade 2
Students have access to classroom computers and the technology lab