Lower School

We start nurturing the courage to take intellectual risks from the very beginning.

In Lower School, girls as young as five become accustomed to standing in assemblies and sharing their thoughts on open-ended questions. The Lower School program is designed to foster cognitive, social, and emotional growth, and is responsive to different rates of development and styles of learning. The large Lower School faculty—including homeroom teachers; reading and math specialists; and specialized science, foreign language, music, art, library, technology, and physical education teachers—engage students in an integrated curriculum encompassing reading, English, mathematics, history, geography, science, foreign language study, technology, physical education, and the arts. The content of this curriculum is structured to enable our students to develop the skills and self-discipline they will need for a lifetime of learning. The Lower School is committed to giving careful attention to individual student needs, emphasizing collaborative learning and interdisciplinary work.

In Lower School, when everything is new, breadth means exposure to a rich variety of ideas, styles, disciplines, and ways to explore and understand the world.

Nightingale’s social and emotional learning curriculum focuses on the development of a positive social environment in which students feel supported by classmates and teachers and are allowed to take risks, to solve problems independently, and most importantly, to grow as learners and as human beings. Through daily classroom routines and student-teacher interactions, the girls develop positive social skills and strengthen their community bond. Classrooms become working communities in which individuals are celebrated, problems may be solved collaboratively, and mistakes are viewed as learning opportunities.