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The Lower School Experience

The CCES Lower School emphasizes academic excellence and unique learning opportunities in interactive, child-centered classrooms. From Primer (Kindergarten) through 4th grade, our teachers form nurturing relationships with their students, building a foundation of trust and safety that allows every child to blossom.

Lower School Curriculum Guide

International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program

In addition to foundational skills in reading, writing, and mathematics, Lower School students learn through the framework of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB-PYP). Through this inquiry-based curriculum, students develop knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and the attributes of the IB Learner profile to make a difference in their own lives, their communities, and beyond.
lower school student writing

The IB Learner Profile seeks to develop learners who are: 

3rd Grade Student

We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.

Lower School Student Reading Book

We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.

Primer students lookin at a map

We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.

4th graders present Revolutionary War posters

We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.

Lower School Acolytes

We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility of other individuals and groups.

Primers celebrate Lunar New Year

We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.

Students at Road to Bethlehem

We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.

2nd grade Ecosystems Play

We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.

Lower School students on playground

We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives - intellectual, physical, and emotional - to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.

lower school student writing

We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.

Students emerge from the Lower School with a firm grasp of the appropriate norms for social interaction among peers, teachers, and the outside community and provide a framework for responsible living in society as a whole.
3rd Grade Students