LOWER SCHOOL CURRICULUM & PHILOSOPHY
The Pingry Lower School aims to inspire a lifelong commitment to learning, self-discovery, and social responsibility and to promote excellence at all levels of school life. Our students participate in an academic program that combines comprehensive, hands-on instruction, individualized attention, and extensive co-curricular opportunities, preparing them for the challenges of Middle School, Upper School, and beyond. We pride ourselves in providing our children with a solid academic foundation, critical thinking skills essential in a rapidly changing world, and a safe haven for collaboration, exploration, and discovery.
The Pingry experience is based on mutual respect and personal integrity. All members of the Pingry community are expected to honor the rights of others, to conduct themselves at all times in a moral and decent manner and to see this responsibility as an integral part of their lives at Pingry and as citizens of the larger community of the world. Therefore, the Lower School strives to build character, foster personal growth, and instill in its students the spirit of Pingry's Honor Code through the positive behavior described in the child friendly language of the Lower School Code of Conduct. From kindergarten forward, Lower School students learn and discuss principles of honorable behavior, the celebration of diversity, and the practice of teamwork and other essential social and interpersonal skills. These dialogues are complemented by community service activities, which begin in kindergarten and expose our children to the value of helping others through a variety of age-appropriate, hands-on activities.
To help satisfy Pingry's greater mission-to enable all students to reach their fullest intellectual, moral, creative, and physical potential, we also believe in encouraging our students to take increasing responsibility for their educational experiences as they mature. Through study skills, organization, and attention to process, Lower School Students begin to develop the initiative, self-reliance, and independence essential for making the most of their years at Pingry.
Finally, the Lower School acknowledges the importance of parental involvement to a child's overall educational experience. In addition to formal bi-annual parent/teacher conferences, our teachers, curricular specialists, and administrators reach out frequently to the parents to build and maintain an informed, productive relationship.
The Lower School curriculum is designed to stimulate life-long curiosity and exploration by making learning an engaging process that enables the youngest generation of scholars to build a solid foundation of knowledge, skills, and enduring understandings.
While traditional coursework in language arts, mathematics, science, Spanish, and social studies comprises the foundation of the Lower School curriculum, class activities, lessons, and assessments emphasize experiential learning. Every minute of the school day, whether spent inside or outside the classroom, is looked upon as an opportunity for new understanding and growth. Art, music, and drama classes provide outlets for student creativity and self-expression. Technology and library classes impart foundations in research and library skills. In addition, all these subjects enrich classroom areas of study through designed integrated units. Daily physical education classes and recess afford opportunities for play, social interaction, and lessons in teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership.
Historically, Lower School students have enjoyed a seamless transition when they move up to the Middle School on the Basking Ridge Campus. The fifth grade departmentalized curriculum is designed to ready our students for the class schedules and intellectual and organizational challenges that await them at the Martinsville Campus. Two cornerstone courses in the fifth grade program---"Decisions" and "Study Skills" expose students to problem-solving, note taking, and learning strategies to prepare them for Middle School level coursework.