Lower School

Lower School Landing Page


A World of Ideas

Third Grade scientists are building sailboat models to race along an indoor water course. Kindergartners are sustainably caring for the environment in the PDS Garden. First graders are exploring the French language. And in Fourth Grade, students are researching the life and works of a noted author they will meet through our visiting artists program, Imagine the Possibilities.

Wherever you turn in the Lower School, a world of ideas is coming alive. The Lower School at PDS is a supportive and stimulating learning environment where curiosity is rewarded and intellectual risk-taking is encouraged through:

  • Superb teachers focus on each child while facilitating healthy relationships and community building in small classroom settings.
  • A rich, hands-on core curriculum that encompasses science, math, language arts, Spanish and French languages, music, theater, visual arts and physical education.
  • Continual focus on whole-child development, standards-based progress assessments and healthy faculty-family partnerships.

Where We Begin at Princeton Day School

This short video of the first day of the 2019-2020 Kindergarten school year conveys more effectively than any words the joy and care with which we nurture each child's journey at the Lower School.

Community

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

Service Learning

Whether re-imagining the goals and, timing and needs of a local food drive or engaging in hands-on sustainability work, our students learn that being a part of a community means being of service and working as a team. Along with lessons in everything from food insecurity among particular populations to composting and recycling, they also learn about judgment, cooperation and compromise. For example, rather than simply collecting money to donate to a cause, the Lower Schoolers have hosted visitors from area nonprofit organizations to explain the meaning and impact of their work. The children then discuss and explore further these organizations and the problems they seek to address. The goal is to decide together on the best way to be involved, whether creating cards, making recyclable bags out of T-shirts, or helping assemble care packages.
 

TAP Program

Through 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, evident on their smiling young faces whenever 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

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 PreK-12th Grade relay race, and other games. Each student is designated as a member of the blue team or the white team when they first arrive 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 Diwali—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.

LS News

Where We Begin at Princeton Day School

The teachers of Princeton Day School wrapped up individual conferences for every student from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The time, care and commitment that our educators dedicate to each student is truly inspiring. Here is a short video, which follows the Kindergaten on their first day of school, that captures the incredible amount of consideration our teachers put into building a strong community where our students can feel safe, valued and challenged.

[ ... ] about Where We Begin at Princeton Day School
Working Together, Lower School Creates Community Vision

Lower Schoolers recently collaborated on an art project involving all 244 students and resulting in a rainbow-hued wall hanging that paints a vivid picture of an inclusive community in which each member feels a sense of pride and belonging. To learn more about this project and the PreK through Grade 4 experience here at PDS, register to attend the Lower School Open House on December 12 from 9-11.

[ ... ] about Working Together, Lower School Creates Community Vision
First Lower School Assembly Embraces "Bigger Than Me" Theme

Head of Lower School Sandy Wang led this morning's LS assembly, which thoroughly engaged all of the students. "What we're going to be thinking about this year is how we are just a small part of the world that we live in. 'Bigger than me' is our theme for the year. There are so many things that are bigger than us that we can have an impact on and that we can help make better," Ms. Wang noted.

[ ... ] about First Lower School Assembly Embraces "Bigger Than Me" Theme