At Calvert School, the Lower School curriculum cultivates curiosity and challenges even our youngest students. We believe our unique approach helps create lifelong learners who strive to achieve mastery in all of their academic pursuits.

Our Fifth Age program emphasizes school readiness. Students are placed in co-educational homerooms. The half-day program includes daily instruction in the core subjects of language arts and mathematics. Students also participate in physical education, music, library, foreign language, and character education. Families have the option to choose to extend to a full-day program which includes enrichment activities, science, art and technology. There is a significant emphasis in this pivotal year to develop a child's social, emotional, and interpersonal skills.

Our Sixth Age classes build upon the Fifth Age model. We maintain our co-educational homeroom approach in a full day program for all students. Students begin social studies through a course entitled "Discovery" that teaches skills and thematically-based units in age-appropriate topics of inquiry. In addition, students transition from language arts classes to reading classes. They survey five continents through their geography program called “Expedition Calvert.”
 
In Seventh through Tenth Ages, the rigor of Calvert's program and its formal approach to developing life-long, foundational skills are more deeply ingrained. Students are placed in single-sex homerooms. Reading and math groups remain co-educational and developmentally based. It is in these grades where students complete formal compositions and are given instruction in Calvert Script, spelling, grammar, geography, and history.

Explore By Age

List of 7 items.

  • Fifth Age

    Language Arts
    The Fifth Age program emphasizes phonological and phonemic awareness to teach the alphabet and letter sounds. In addition, students learn skills such as rhyming, tracking, sequencing, and how to determine opposites. Small groups allow teachers to focus more on the individual child providing flexible and appropriate pacing based on developmental needs.

    Writing
    Children learn upper and lower case letters, left to right correspondence, proper spacing, and pencil grip. Age-appropriate fine motor skills are developed through multi-sensory activities and experiences. This prepares children for proper word formation.

    Mathematics
    Math concepts are introduced through a variety of experiences using manipulatives and other hands-on activities to help strengthen each child's conceptual knowledge of numbers. Topics such as patterning, adding, subtracting, basic fractions, time, money, and measurement are taught through practical scenarios and problems. Children use the Math Connects program and enrichment materials including iPads. Small groups are developmentally based to best meet the needs of each student.

    Social and Emotional Development
    A major emphasis in Fifth Age is to develop children’s social, emotional, and interpersonal skills. Teachers provide a safe and nurturing environment that includes the use of positive praise to foster self-confidence and self-esteem. Responsibility, ownership of actions, efficient use of time, pride in finished work, and cooperation with others are skills cultivated in Fifth Age.
  • Sixth Age

    Reading
    The reading program is designed to accommodate each child's individual needs while fostering growth and skill development; in turn, children are placed in small, developmentally-based groups. They are taught using a blend of a reading series, phonics, and Calvert's own reading materials. Instruction focuses on phonemic awareness, letter sound relationships, high frequency and sight word mastery, visual and auditory discrimination, and comprehension.

    Writing
    In the writing program, children begin to learn the development of logical and creative thought using words and language. Creative writing is integrated with reading through journals. Children continue to practice fine motor skills in printing letters, words, and sentences.

    Mathematics
    Instruction is focused on basic addition and subtraction with numbers, identifying patterns, sorting and classifying objects, place value, measurement, time, and money. Children are taught how to apply their mathematical knowledge in daily situations outside of the classroom. Children use the Math Connects program and enrichment materials and are developmentally grouped to best meet their needs.

    Social and Emotional Development
    Building on the foundation from Fifth Age, character education continues in the form of bimonthly homeroom meetings with the Lower School counselor. Topics include friendship, fears, manners, sharing, and self-control. Special emphasis is placed on responsibility, respect, and compassion.

    Discovery
    Discovery represents students' first step into social studies content. Teachers provide thematically-based activities to engage students. These units encourage students to think globally and allow them to synthesize their personal knowledge with literature-based, hands-on activities. During this daily course, children explore topics related to their world and surroundings.

    Geography
    Through our geography program, Expedition Calvert, students explore maps and learn how to use them as well as gain an awareness of the continents through music, movement, food, art, and hands-on activities.
  • Seventh Age

    Reading
    The Seventh Age reading program is designed to develop a well-rounded reader who is able to apply phonics and word recognition skills, while building their reading comprehension skills. The students are also able to identify story elements including characters, setting, problem and solution. Using the Houghton Mifflin reading series, trade books, teacher modeling, and activities including reading circles, reader's theater, and read-alouds, the children are taught to be competent, expressive, and fluent readers. Phonics instruction is an integral part of the curriculum. The children are placed into small developmentally similar groups for reading instruction.

    Handwriting
    Children begin formal instruction of the Calvert Script. While focusing on proper pencil grip and writing position, children learn the formation of letters. Upon mastering the script, children begin writing short compositions.

    Composition
    Composition is a step-by-step process in which the children learn to construct sentences and then paragraphs in logical order, while being creative and descriptive. The children brainstorm topics and learn about main ideas, paragraph structure, and the basic mechanics of writing.

    Spelling
    Using the Words Their Way program, spelling is taught within reading, and in turn, spelling words are based on appropriate developmental levels. Phonics concepts and spelling patterns are taught through an intentional process; students are provided opportunities to apply what they learn for deeper understanding and successful application of spelling concepts.

    Mathematics
    Using the Math Connects series and accompanying enrichment materials, math instruction continues to focus on the fundamentals. Children learn addition and subtraction facts, build number sense, and are taught using practical applications of time, money, and measurement concepts. Addition and subtraction with regrouping is introduced as well as geometry and basic word problems. Children are grouped in small, developmentally-based sections, and a variety of hands-on activities are used to further enhance the curriculum.

    Geography
    Through our geography program, Expedition Calvert, geography comes to life as students travel to the continent of South America, where they explore Brazil, Argentina, and Peru. Students learn about geographical and cultural features to include a global connection as part of their study.
  • Eighth Age

    Reading
    The Eighth Age reading curriculum develops critical thinking skills, such as making inferences, drawing conclusions, and predicting outcomes by focusing on oral comprehension, fluency, and expression. Using the Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt Brace reading series, and trade books, children are taught story structure and develop comprehension skills such as recognizing main idea and supporting details. They also expand their vocabulary using context clues and other reading strategies.

    Writing
    Children develop compositions in Calvert Script using formal steps in the writing process: prewriting, organizing, drafting, and editing. Mechanics of writing are taught through the correct use of grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Children write fiction and non-fiction papers, poetry, letters, and compose basic research reports.

    Spelling
    Using the Words Their Way program, spelling is taught within reading, and in turn, spelling words are based on appropriate developmental levels. Phonics concepts and spelling patterns are taught through an intentional process; students are provided opportunities to apply what they learn for deeper understanding and successful application of spelling concepts.

    Mathematics
    The Math Connects series used at this grade level builds upon content from prior years. Students continue to be grouped by developmental readiness, there is a grade-wide emphasis on mastery of addition and subtraction facts through twelve, and they apply addition and subtraction strategies to larger numbers. Fractions, measurement, geometry, place value, and statistics are also covered. Problem solving is integrated within each skill area.

    History
    Using the Famous Americans text, children experience United States history through the lives of men and women who have helped shape our nation through their acts of courage, leadership, generosity, creativity, and strength. Stories of presidents, explorers, writers, artists, and inventors inspire students to learn more about the important individuals and events of our country.

    Geography
    Through our geography program, Expedition Calvert, children travel to the continent of Asia where they learn about the geographical and cultural features of three specific countries: China, India, and Saudi Arabia. Students engage in authentic learning experiences that include a global connection.

    Mythology
    Ancient Greek culture is explored through the storytelling of myths, creation of Greek clothing, and an assortment of games and electronic presentations. Mythology class meets weekly and is taught using specially developed materials and enrichment tools.
  • Ninth Age

    Reading
    Children are grouped developmentally for Ninth Age reading class. Reading comprehension, critical thinking, and fluency are central to the curriculum. Students use the Houghton Mifflin series and other selected novels for discussions about main idea, vocabulary, sequencing, predicting and inferring. Children participate in creative activities and research projects, poetry reading, and presentations as well as write short answers and essays that require critical thinking about reading content.

    Composition
    Teachers guide children through weekly lessons that build skills in idea development, writing mechanics, and sentence structure. Emphasis is placed on applying rules of grammar and punctuation to write meaningful sentences that clearly and creatively express thoughts. Children learn various styles of writing such as expository, persuasive, creative, and factual essays building from shorter paragraphs to longer, multi-paragraph compositions. The curriculum culminates with a research project that allows the students to apply all of the skills they have learned throughout the year.

    Spelling
    Using the Words Their Way program, pelling is taught within reading, and in turn, spelling words are based on appropriate developmental levels. Phonics concepts and spelling patterns are taught through an intentional process; students are provided opportunities to apply what they learn for deeper understanding and successful application of spelling concepts.

    Grammar
    Ninth Age grammar introduces students to the basic parts of speech, sentence structure, and writing mechanics. Children apply rules of grammar in written work with a focus on communicating accurately and concisely.

    Mathematics
    Using the Math Connects series and developmental groupings, students review patterning, place value, addition, and subtraction before moving into multiplication and division. Time, money, measurement, geometry, fractions and statistics are reviewed and extended. There is a focus on memorization of multiplication and division facts through twelve, and students are introduced to multi-digit multiplication and division with remainders. Problem solving is integrated into all aspects of the curriculum.

    History
    History content covers the time period from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages using A Child's History of the World, by Calvert's first Head Master, Virgil Hillyer. Special emphasis is placed on studying ancient civilizations.

    Geography
    Through our geography program, Expedition Calvert, geography comes to life as students travel to the continent of Europe, where they explore England, France, and Spain. Students learn about geographical and cultural features to include a global connection as part of their study.
  • Tenth Age

    Reading
    Emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking, comprehension and fluency in reading class. There is also a significant focus on reading to learn. Children are grouped developmentally and use the Houghton Mifflin reading series and several novels, including The Sign of the Beaver, American Tall Tales, Shiloh, and Call It Courage. Independent reading is encouraged both in school and at home.

    Composition
    Emphasis continues to be placed on writing skills in Tenth Age. Children learn to write complex sentences using descriptive phrases. They organize and develop coherent paragraphs with topic sentences and descriptive details. Children write book reports, business letters, and descriptive, expository, persuasive, and creative compositions.

    Grammar
    The Tenth Age grammar lessons reinforce and extend the skills taught in Ninth Age. By the end of the year students demonstrate a working knowledge of eight parts of speech in all capacities which gives them a foundation of language and a solid understanding of the structure of writing.

    Spelling
    Using the Words Their Way program, spelling is taught within reading, and in turn, spelling words are based on appropriate developmental levels. Phonics concepts and spelling patterns are taught through an intentional process; students are provided opportunities to apply what they learn for deeper understanding and successful application of spelling concepts.

    Mathematics
    Using the Math Connects curriculum and enrichment materials, children review number operations and place value with both whole numbers and decimals. Then, they move into multiplication and division of greater numbers. Students also further explore the concepts of geometry and fractions. Problem solving skills and practical applications are emphasized throughout the year. Students are  placed into developmentally appropriate groups that target their individual learning strengths and needs.

    History
    History focuses on North America with its primary emphasis on American history. Students learn about Native American tribes, early European settlements, the founding of the United States, the Revolutionary and Civil Wars as well as early 20th century events. Children read A Child's History of Calvert School and learn the history and traditions that are unique to Calvert, providing a clear understanding of their school.

    Geography
    Through our geography program, Expedition Calvert, geography comes to life as students travel to throughout the continent of North America, where they explore Canada, Mexico, and places across the United States. Students learn about geographical and cultural features to include a global connection as part of their study.
  • Special Subjects

    Art
    Art introduces children to a variety of mediums and styles as well as artists and time periods. Acquisition of vocabulary and concepts support the students’ ever-growing portfolio of artwork. Students continuously expand their knowledge of elements of art and principles of design with new materials and concepts. Elements covered are line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space. The principles of design covered are balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, and variety. In Ninth and Tenth Ages art history is incorporated into art class allowing for more in depth study and understanding of periods studied in history class.

    Music
    Our “Spotlight on Music” curriculum exposes our students to every period of genre of music from the Renaissance to 20th century composers through guided listening selections. Music theory and history as well as vocal techniques are a part of students’ progressive mastery in music throughout the program. Rhythm instruments, recorder, and piano are the application instruments used for performance of musical skills acquired. Vocal and instrumental performance is seen in all grade levels to promote creative expression and mastery of musical skills. Students are exposed to a digital musical experience, learning through an online program called “Tenuto,” which reinforces their music education and allows them to experience more of what they have learned.

    Foreign Language
    The curriculum is designed to awaken a child's curiosity and interest in a new language, while providing a solid foundation for further study in Middle School. Students begin learning the languages in Fifth Age through songs, finger plays, stories and hands-on projects. In Eighth Age, after choosing to pursue either French or Spanish, students focus on speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. The culture of French and Spanish-speaking countries, especially holidays and artists, are emphasized throughout the language program.

    Physical Education
    Physical Education provides all children, beginning in Fifth Age, with multiple opportunities for physical, mental, emotional, and social growth through active games and structured play. Children learn skills at an age-appropriate pace and gain knowledge about their own physical development. Teachers focus on developing an appreciation for physical activity that will lead to a lifetime of health and wellness. Experiences in team and individual sports, as well as movement and rhythms, are designed to help students gain skills and develop positive attitudes towards exercise, sports, and their physical abilities.

    Science
    Children at Calvert begin formal science instruction in Fifth Age with an exploration of the five senses, weather, animals, and plants. Science instruction is intended to give children hands-on experiences with everyday materials, familiarizing them with the world around them. Field trips, nature walks, and activities allow a child's natural curiosity to develop. Children learn about the water cycle,cells, elements, habitats, systems, magnets, matter, forces and energy, rocks, climate, and pushes and pulls. The Luetkemeyer Planetarium on campus provides children with an exciting way to examine the sky, planets, and the universe. Calvert's science program encourages children to ask and answer questions, build factual knowledge, and theorize for further examination.
     
    Technology
    Students from Fifth Age through Tenth Age attend technology class for at least thirty minutes each six-day cycle.  Our Fifth and Sixth Age students have sets of iPads in their classrooms which are used primarily during math and language arts. Students in the Seventh through Tenth Age classes primarily use Chromebooks and iPads. Technology skills are taught through a series of interactive projects and activities which often align with topics covered in other subjects. Skills such as graphic design, visual mapping, keyboarding, presentation, and public speaking are introduced at age-appropriate levels. Cyber safety, cyber-bullying, digital citizenship, and responsible computer use are emphasized throughout the school year.

    Library
    The Lower School Library has a collection of more than 20,000 items, including fiction, non-fiction, periodicals, audio-visual material for students and their teachers.  All classes from Fifth to Tenth Age have a library lesson once a week, where students listen to stories, browse and check-out books, and receive instruction in information-seeking skills. Our library information system, Destiny Quest, provides easy access to books, age appropriate and reliable websites and information-rich databases. The library curriculum is developmentally appropriate for each grade level, complementing lessons in history, geography, reading, math, and science. The librarian focuses on developing an interest in and appreciation for books and encourages students to visit the library for school work and reading for pleasure.