Nursery through Grade Five
The foundation for academic achievement begins in the lower school, where students learn to challenge themselves and grow in understanding of their own potential. Increasingly, classroom instruction introduces students to the skills of independent thinking, cooperation, and decision making. As children develop these tools, they engage with their peers to process new concepts, working at shared tables that facilitate the collaborative process. Creative classroom projects and homework assignments develop students’ cognitive, social, and physical abilities while focusing on essential reading, writing, science, and math skills. Projects are hands-on and interdisciplinary.
The research-based Responsive Classroom approach provides practical tools for how to implement Quaker values in an elementary classroom setting. All lower school faculty members are trained in Responsive Classroom techniques, each class conducts the Morning Meeting, and all teachers share common language and practices that build community, while consistently instilling values and setting clear expectations based on mutual understanding and respect. Our lower school classrooms speak to the vibrant educational atmosphere that flourishes at Moses Brown: nursery students study patterns and develop math skills using beads; first grade metamorphoses into a jungle during a rainforest unit; second grade authors present personal family narratives; third graders explore local geography and topography; fourth grade scientists unravel the mystery of how color reflects through light; and fifth graders introduce us to important figures in the Civil Rights movement. Throughout the lower school, teachers are busy creating academically stimulating environments that nurture a passion for learning. All the while, they emphasize the importance of being responsible citizens, caring for others and the world. The underlying goal of all activities in lower school is to nurture love for learning, to instill the value of a broad education, and to prepare students to excel in middle school and beyond.