Lower School Curriculum

At St. James Academy, we strongly believe in allowing our students to explore, create, and discover their journey to acquiring the knowledge and skills that will ensure lifelong learning. At the beginning of the school day, a highlight is watching our PreK students eagerly hustle to their classrooms where they are given a choice of activity to begin their day and start their imaginations firing. Free choice is at the heart of the Reggio Emilia philosophy, and the children genuinely drive their educational journey. This focus on the child also helps the teachers facilitate fine motor, literacy, and numeracy skills. The knowledge acquired in PreK sets up our students’ journey from Kindergarten and on through the Lower School.

We balance the targeted language and math instruction with open-ended experiential learning in science and social studies throughout the Lower School. Our smaller class sizes allow us to know whether a student should be academically extended or supported. Our students experience enrichment classes of Music, Art, PE, World Language, Library, and technology. The school’s hallways displays, cultural events, musical and dance performances, sports team representation, and library skills encouraging a love of reading all stem from the breadth of the curriculum offered through the Specials sessions. To further enhance learning, we offer 1-1 laptops for students in Gr 3-5 and iPads for the lower grade, thus enabling students to utilize such platforms as Google Classroom and Seesaw.

SJA students learn essential success skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity. They are encouraged to share their thoughts, work in teams or independently, especially when working on Project Based Learning activities. At the end of their time in the Lower School, our Fifth Graders can reflect on their growth through the experiences they have had here at SJA. Whether in classwork, Specials lessons, Student Council, educational visits, and after-school activities on the stage in a musical or the school field representing a team, all will have met and overcome new challenges. Our goal is to facilitate this journey in a safe and fun environment, enabling our children to be well-rounded lifelong learners who will take all they have gained to the next level in our Middle School.