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During the Lower School years, children build upon a foundation of early childhood development through continued concrete, hands-on, active learning experiences.
Throughout the Lower School years, children grow understandings from the concrete to symbolic and, eventually, to abstract levels. Through systematic, scaffolded learning opportunities and varied interactions with peers, the elementary age child builds a strong academic foundation, a curiosity for learning, and a sense of self that will support positive and productive educational, social, and emotional development in his or her lifelong journey of growth.
In our small classes, teachers work shoulder-to-shoulder with students, supporting each child’s development and learning experiences through ability-appropriate instruction. Concepts are taught over time, first at a simplified level and eventually at a complex level, each time gradually increasing in difficulty. With a “workshop” framework as the core of our instructional model, students can set and achieve personal goals for growth, while continuing to build developmentally-appropriate cognitive skills alongside peers. Additionally, our right-sized classes and nurturing learning environment allow students to cultivate critical co-cognitive traits, including confidence, independence, courage, metacognition, and empathy.
The curriculum lays a foundation that promotes the development of flexible and resilient learners within and across all academic disciplines.
Our curriculum is designed so that teachers facilitate student discovery of relationships between bits of information and so that new learning can be transferred and applied to new situations. In Kindergarten through second grade, foundational language skills - in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening - are the focus of daily instruction, including decoding knowledge, word attack strategies, fluency, literal and inferential comprehension skills, and essential skills in the writing process. As students progress into third and fourth grades, they utilize these foundational abilities to support cross-discipline learning, develop interpretive and analytic comprehension skills, and establish their voices as writers. Mathematics at Charlotte Prep is grounded in a “global” philosophy. A balanced approach is used to build and apply computational, conceptual and problem-solving knowledge and skills into daily work with real-world mathematical situations.
Students in Kindergarten through fourth grade participate routinely in a 6-day rotation of specialized classes, providing students with well-balanced opportunities to engage in hands-on, unique learning opportunities. Students participate in Fine Arts classes (music, drama, and art), technology and STEM, Spanish, and physical education. Throughout their time at school, students will work independently as well as in teams, learning core life-skills such as collaboration and problem-solving, that will help to prepare them for their future careers.