Lower School

Differentiated Learning

In Lower School (PK-5), our focus is on the development of the “whole” child. Affective and cognitive learning play equal roles in instruction. We offer an integrated curriculum blending content from a variety of disciplines. A strong focus is placed on differentiated learning to address individual learning styles. Low student teacher ratios create an environment where students can be challenged as well as supported. In addition, students learn the art of collaboration and effective teamwork.

The Lower School curriculum is designed to engage students, stimulate creativity, and develop critical thinking skills. The goal of math instruction is to develop a clear understanding of key foundational concepts through the use of manipulatives, problem solving, and cumulative review. Language instruction focuses on developing written and oral communication. An emphasis in primary grades on phonetics and comprehension provides upper elementary students the tools to “read to learn” across subject areas.

Head of Lower School
Blair Hawley

Nurturing Environment

In Lower School, students become a part of the Westchester community. A nurturing family environment allows students to feel comfortable in their classrooms and throughout our campus. Our staff weaves character development into daily activities. In addition, parents play a vital role in partnering with our teachers to build personal integrity and an enthusiasm for learning.

Our Curriculum

At WCDS we work to prepare our students with the most essential knowledge and skills for the 21st century. Concepts and ideas transfer across curricular areas, collaboration is encouraged among faculty, and students can make cross-curricular connections.

7 C's of Curriculum

Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, Cultural Awareness, Cross-curricular Connections, and Character Development are the 7 C's of Curriculum that focus on the skills most important for our rapidly changing world. WCDS faculty incorporate the development of these essential skills within their classrooms each and every day.

Click below for examples of the 7C's in action in our Lower School.

  • Creativity

  • Collaboration

  • Communication

  • Critical Thinking

  • Cultural Awareness

  • Cross-curricular Connections

  • Character Development

  • Enduring Understandings

    By focusing our teaching with the "end" in mind, Enduring Understandings help our teaching go beyond rote memorization to student construction of conceptual understanding. Crafted by each department and division, our Enduring Understandings show what we want our students to learn after digging deeply and uncovering what is not necessarily obvious. With understanding at the heart of our curriculum, our students are more likely to transfer what has been learned to new and different situations. This application strengthens their ability to make inferences and develop insights about the world around them.

  • English

  • Fine Arts

  • Mathematics

  • Physical Education

  • Science

  • Social Studies

  • Technology

  • World Languages

  • Click below for a detailed chart of the curriculum in Lower School.

    Video: Lower School at Westchester