At ASL, the Lower School is characterized by its stimulating, caring and relaxed ethos. Each classroom is a community of learners in which students learn to respect each other as they participate in many collaborative experiences. From designing and building structures in an early childhood classroom, to giving a fellow student feedback on a laptop writing assignment, Lower School children are challenged to work together and to learn from each other.
Our curriculum is an eclectic mix of best practices from the world’s leading educational systems. Whether it is our Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading program from the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, new practices in mathematics focused on the Common Core Standards or the use of beginning readers from New Zealand and Australia, we are constantly updating and refining lessons and units of curriculum, based on current research and best practice.
The Lower School has a clearly defined program of ongoing assessment, which is designed to ensure that we meet the individual needs of every child so that each one meets his or her full potential. Learning specialists, a reading/literacy specialist, speech/language therapists, a counselor, and an educational psychologist serve as resources and provide direct services to students. All LS children keep portfolios of their work in which they reflect on their goals, progress, and challenges. Student-led portfolio conferences are a highlight of the year.
Beyond the classroom, a talented group of specialist teachers provides lessons in music, computer, art, physical education, science and Spanish. The Lower School Library is one of the finest to be found in any school and author visits are a frequent highlight of our schoolwide emphasis on becoming capable and enthusiastic readers.
Cultural diversity is one of the Lower School's greatest assets. We celebrate our differences whenever possible through the sharing of family traditions, religious holidays, assemblies and curriculum, such as our social studies units on comparative faiths in Grade 2 and the Human Need in Grade 4. Our deep connection to the Nirvana School in Pondicherry, India provides our students with an understanding that children all over the world have many similarities we can celebrate.
London serves as the background for much of our curriculum and we take frequent field trips to gain firsthand experience in history, the arts and science.
In addition, all Lower School students visit our Honeypot Lane Garden at the school’s playing fields four to five days per year, where they work in the garden, explore the hedgerows, and participate in nature and community-building activities. These visits are a much-anticipated part of the LS year.