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Lower School Distinctives

Children educated in our Lower School experience:

We believe in and practice an elementary education of the whole child: academically, spiritually, socially, emotionally, and physically.

At The Master's School we are blessed to be able to educate the whole child. Children thrive in an environment where the Lord is allowed to be infused into the curriculum throughout the day. Our interdisciplinary approach to learning allows us to develop the whole child in a way that encourages his or her individual uniqueness to shine through.

 

Critical Thinking Skills

Our teachers focus on developing deep critical thinking skills as they engage students to wonder about and explore each topic. Our curriculum goes beyond the fundamentals provided in a traditional school. Students are taught to be problem-solvers and are active participants in their learning. This approach promotes a deeper level of understanding and enhances learning across the entire curriculum.

Development of Unique Gifting

Surprising things happen when students are given a safe place and the opportunity to try new things and take risks. Learning events such as speech meets, spelling bees, fine arts festivals, concerts, student ambassador roles, and choices within assignments allow teachers to discover the unique gifts of their students.

Small Class Sizes

How children learn is as important as what they learn. Our smaller class size enables our teachers to know our students and to know how they learn. Our teachers care about our students and provide many opportunities for them to be stretched in their learning. We work diligently to differentiate the curriculum to meet the needs of our students, ensuring they feel safe and valued at our school.

ISaT (Interactive Science and Technology) Lab

The Lower School provides a dedicated science and technology teacher for all grades. Students receive hands-on interactive science instruction in a dedicated lab space which houses a SMART Board, individual laptops, digital microscopes, digital media, data loggers, and robotics equipment. Our science and technology program is tied to state and national standards.

Specialized Math Teacher

The Lower School has a dedicated math specialist who provides instruction to students in grades three through six. A dedicated math specialist allows consistency in instruction from year to year which produces a solid foundation for our students. Our math instructor knows the strengths and weaknesses of each student and tailors the curriculum to meet individual needs; the specialist also provides support to teachers in early kindergarten through grade 2. Our math curriculum is tied to state and national standards. The Master's School is one of a few schools in Connecticut which incorporates Digi-Blocks, just one of many hands-on tools used in the mathematics lab, into the math curriculum.

 

Lower School Math Program Receives Highest Scores

Fourth grade students at The Master’s School participated in a unique math assessment, the Connecticut Independent School Test of Mathematics (CISTM) conducted by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools.

The assessment, which is a replica test of the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS), measured our students’ achievement in math as compared to the achievement of students internationally.

Doug Lyons, The Executive Director of CAIS, shared The Master’s School’s student outcomes as follows:

“The goal of the CISTM is to provide Connecticut Independent Schools with a benchmark comparison relative to students in the 26 countries in the TIMSS sample. 

  • The Master’s School’s average student score falls in the highest band possible
  • The average student score places the school at or above the achievement level of the countries in the top decile of performance (Singapore and Chinese Taipei)

You and the faculty at The Master’s School should be proud of this result.”


Foreign Language

Students in the Lower School are exposed to Spanish and American Sign Language during their Lower School tenure. The purpose of the program is to expose the children to different languages in a way that allows them to make connections between the languages. Exposure to different languages challenges the brain to translate languages and enhances one's capacity for verbal intelligence. Students sing songs, learn poetry, incorporate phrases, and utilize greetings. In addition, children also learn about the culture of the countries where the language is spoken.

Authentic Community

Research shows that beginning at a young age, students who are comfortable, feel safe, and thrive socially perform better academically. Our students are taught strong social skills that nurture a positive sense of self-worth and a healthy respect for others, forming the basis of the daily schedule. We are purposeful to provide direct social instruction on a daily basis. Children collaborate, greet one another, interact responsively, and listen well to others. The responsive classroom curriculum addresses the social and communal aspects of educating the whole child.

A central component of the responsive classroom is academic choice. Within the framework of certain assignments, each student is allowed to invest in their learning by choosing how to complete different assignments. Children are given a common goal but then are given the opportunity to choose how they would like to complete the assignment or project. Research shows that children who personally invest in their learning will have a more meaningful experience and will better retain what they have learned.

Full-Day Kindergarten

The Master’s School full-day kindergarten emphasizes the development of the whole child by providing opportunities to grow socially, emotionally, spiritually, and academically. Developmentally appropriate activities and small group instruction create an environment in which children are allowed to thrive. Hands-on, active learning activities occur throughout the day with attention to individual strengths and weaknesses.

Our curriculum is based on topics of study that integrate learning in the various academic areas. Our approach to teaching and learning is multi-sensory; we explore, investigate, and experience the curriculum. Language and literacy development is supported through reading stories aloud, writing in journals, and other creative writing experiences. Our program incorporates the Guided Reading Approach to reading and utilizes the Fountas and Pinnell approach to phonics development. Our math program is based on the Think Math! curriculum. We incorporate the Digi-Block program to aid in the development of number sense; children count, measure, sort, and chart on a daily basis.

The spiritual development of each child is encouraged through prayer, song, Bible stories, and the loving care of each faculty member. Knowing God’s love and care builds a true sense of self-worth in each student. Consistent rules and routine provide security and accountability in an environment that combines discipline with love and support.

Art instruction

Art classes in the Lower School are designed to help each child develop the ability to “see” the world around them and appreciate the handiwork of God. The dedicated art teacher provides instruction to all Lower School grades. At the elementary level, the focus of instruction is on the process of creating art, and not always the product. This is important because it allows children to be free to learn to be an artist. Students are given opportunities to study master artists who have shared their gifts and talents throughout history. This inviting setting allows children to be risk-takers and thrive as an artist at an early age.

Field Trips

Students in the Lower School are given many opportunities to authentically experience the curriculum. Students are taken on a variety of field trips to help topics of study become more meaningful to them. Field trips can include visits to art museums, aquariums, theatre performances, and ecological habitat exploration. Students investigate and creatively engage in activities during their field trips, which are an inviting and integral part of our curriculum. Please click here to print the field trip permission form.


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