With an emphasis on experiential learning, the Lower School program is designed to form the intellectual habits that provide the foundation for all future academic work. To promote positive attitudes toward school and lifelong learning, the program is carefully crafted to encourage an interest in, and a confidence for, independent work.
From the very first days of school when students in each class work together to develop the class "agreements," there is a strong emphasis on the responsibilities of citizenship at Key School and in the community beyond.
By fostering active learning, the Lower School program allows students to grow and develop as individuals and as members of a close-knit community. In a supportive and stimulating environment, rich with interesting texts and materials, Lower School children experience the joy of learning both inside and outside the classroom.
- Neuroscience-Based Curriculum
Informed by the latest studies in neuroscience, Key teachers regularly evolve the curriculum to better serve the needs of the students. Through professional development opportunities and collaborative internal work, teachers devise curricula based on what is being learned about the brain and cognition as well as with an understanding of how societal shifts impact educating the whole child.
- Technology Integration
Technology is seamlessly integrated throughout the curriculum at Key. The choice to incorporate technology in classroom endeavors is purposeful and utilized only when teachers see value added. The School views technology as a tool students can use to solve problems, not as a distinct curricular offering.
- Academic Specialists
Classes in science, music, library, art, outdoor education, and physical education are taught by highly specialized Key faculty members in campus facilities that include studios, laboratories, outdoor classrooms, and gymnasiums.
- Safe Learning Environments
Classroom expectations and community norms are set early on with discussions focusing on personal responsibilities, problem-solving on the playground, listening carefully to each others' opinions during classroom discussions, and building reflective practices during quiet times and closing activities.
- Diversity, Inclusivity and Belonging
Thoughtfully selected literature and thematic units of study are used as vehicles for helping students develop an understanding of themselves and others with an appreciation for cultures different from their own. Classroom activities and day-to-day interactions help students learn the importance of listening to one another’s ideas and perspectives.