Lower School

A World of Ideas

Third-graders are building sailboats in science, models to race along an indoor water course. Kindergartners are picking vegetables from the organic garden. First-graders are having a French lesson. And in a fourth grade, students are learning about a noted author they will meet through a visiting artists program called Imagine the Possibilities.

Wherever you turn, a world of ideas is coming alive. This is a wonderful place to begin a career in learning, a supportive and stimulating setting where curiosity is continually rewarded. Young students learn to love school and experience the respect and responsibility inherent to our community. For us the essential ingredients are:

  • Devotion to academic and character development with careful assessments of progress.
  • Small classes and superb teachers with time to focus on each child's growth.
  • A solid core curriculum enriched by physical education, languages, music, theater and visual arts.
  • Regular communication between teachers and parents.

LS News

Rain or Shine! Lower School Bulb Planting

A wonderful tradition at Princeton Day School is the bulb planting project in the Lower School each fall. Our PreK, K, and 1st grade students put on their gardening gloves, get out the trowels and, with the help of their parents and teachers, plant daffodils, tulips, and other bulbs in the ground for a wonderful show of flowers in the spring. Even rain didn't keep our gardeners away this morning! Looking forward to the spring already...

[ ... ] about Rain or Shine! Lower School Bulb Planting
Photos from Maypole Day at Princeton Day School

In a tradition that dates back to Miss Fine's School, Princeton Day School's second graders performed the Maypole Dance for our 50th anniversary year on Wednesday, April 27, on the Colross Lawn. This wonderful event features student musicians performing while the second grade students do an intricate dance to weave the ribbons on two Maypoles. The performance fantastic, and a great way to kick off the spring! Click here for photos.

[ ... ] about Photos from Maypole Day at Princeton Day School

Excursions & Adventures

Life in lower school is filled with experiences children will never forget.


Each week, in kindergarten and first grade, children gather to learn and to play, with an intensity and delight that would inspire older masters.

Create a Culture

"How does the land affect the people? How do the people affect the land?"

The Fourth Grade Operetta

One year it was a musical spoof of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf " that the students named "Much Ado About Mutton." Another year it was "Looking for Peanuts," featuring Charlie Brown and friends.

Pond Study

What lives in the bottom of the pond? How can we find out? Science is about hands-on investigation. In the Pond Study, PDS fourth grades explore a data-rich ecosystem right on our campus.


Lower schoolers study communities, starting with their families and branching out around the world. They become active members of a community of learners.

Community Service

Whether they are collecting books for a school in Africa or engaged in sustainability work closer to home, our students learn that being a part of a community means helping others. Along with lessons in composting and recycling, they also learn about judgment, cooperation, and compromise—for instance, as they sell calendars to raise money for a charity and then decide together the best way to donate the money.

TAP Program

TAP studentThrough the Teacher Assistant Program, PDS upper schoolers visit lower school classrooms to work one-on-one with the children. For the older students, it’s a chance to learn something about the art of teaching from masters of the profession. For their young counterparts, the attention of these upper school role models is a source of enormous pride and excitement. Nowhere is this more clear than when an upper schooler calls out a greeting to a lower school friend who is walking with classmates to gym or to lunch.

Blue and White Day

Blue and White Day
Named for our school colors, Blue and White Day is a time for outdoor fun and Panther pride involving the entire student body. Highlights include an inner tube tug-of-war, a prekindergarten-twelfth grade relay race, and other games. Each student is designated as a member of the blue team or the white team when he or she first arrives at PDS, and remains blue or white for life.

Holiday Concert

This annual highlight brings together many seasonal traditions—from Christmas and Kwanzaa to Chanukah and Dawali—creating a wonderful learning opportunity and celebration. Like so many lower school events, the concert is a chance for children to stand in the spotlight, gaining the poise and experiencing the pleasure that come from performing well.