Pace’s Lower School literacy program is designed to develop confident, lifelong readers and writers who think critically about the world around them. Students read fiction and non-fiction books while actively using effective reading and writing skills. Each day, Pace readers and writers apply spelling, phonics, grammar and vocabulary skills both independently and with others. With two teachers in the homeroom, faculty are equipped to differentiate instruction for individual student needs, and they provide students with multiple ways of engaging with the components of the English language.
Daily literacy blocks are full of deep, reflective discussions where students apply their comprehension skills, share their thoughts and opinions, and actively listen to the thoughts of others. These daily practices reinforce the interconnectedness of reading and writing, motivating students to communicate and broaden their ideas with supporting details that appeal to the senses. Ongoing assessments are used to regularly monitor student progress, ensuring learning is appropriately accelerated for each student.
We believe that children understand mathematics best when provided with problems that challenge and inspire. The Math In Focus curriculum uses the Singapore approach to mathematics and inspires students to become mathematical thinkers using hands-on manipulatives and abstract representation of real-world problems. Our emphasis on problem-solving and application of mathematical skills provides enriching mathematical experiences that promote positive attitudes about math and teach students to think critically.
Using hands-on experiments, our science program allows students to question, explore and analyze the world around them. Our goal is to continually build a foundation in science, then revise and refine knowledge and abilities through experimentation. The curriculum engages students by providing hypothesizing exercises, experiments and productive collaboration.
Our social studies approach is designed to connect students to community, state, nation and world. By addressing current events, such as economy, environment and government, faculty and students develop a global perspective through open discussions. With this approach, students discover links to the past, have a better understanding of the present and develop skills to be global citizens of the future.
The technology program strives to ensure that students become competent, confident and safe technology users. Our young learners receive specialized instruction in accordance with the International Society for Technology in Education standards, which help students become empowered learners, digital citizens, knowledge constructors, innovative designers, computational thinkers, creative communicators and global collaborators.
While striving towards these standards, students work on keyboarding, receive self-paced coding accounts, design in 3D software, program robots, research and learn about different types of creative presentations. In addition to lab instruction, students benefit from the use of iPads, interactive boards, laptops and desktops in the classroom.
Our proficiency-based Spanish program enables students to master all aspects of world language, from listening and speaking to reading and writing. By providing more than just exposure to a second language, our world language teachers inspire students to engage and understand the cultures and traditions of the Spanish-speaking world. Through this exploration of language, students are able to communicate meaningfully and effectively in a globalized world.
The physical education program builds and develops cardiovascular strength, muscle, agility, and athletic fundamentals through a wide variety of activities and sports. These enjoyable and energetic games and lessons—from kicking skills and swimming to basketball and volleyball—are hosted in our gymnasiums, natatorium, indoor track, gymnastics facility and outdoor fields. The Lower School physical education program continuously builds on a foundation for lifelong health and wellness.
Visual Art – Students experience art through a variety of hands-on projects that enhance techniques and encourage creativity. In addition to acquiring skills and concepts, students learn to explore and experiment with a range of materials. The program establishes practical skills and conceptual knowledge in order to provide avenues for self-expression.
Music – The Lower School music program ascribes to a number of teaching methodologies to ensure students benefit from best practices in music education. The Orff Schulwerk approach emphasizes students’ total involvement and incorporates speech, singing, movement, improvisation, and the use of a variety of percussion and Orff instruments. The Kodaly method focuses on tuneful singing, listening, analyzing, music reading and writing, and composing. And the Phyllis Weikart and Dalcroze methods promote understanding of musical concepts such as rhythmic movement, aural training, and physical and instrumental improvisation.
These approaches foster creativity while conveying musical knowledge and skills, all of which are on display when our Lower Schoolers perform in class plays and musicals, lunchtime concerts and other special events.