Lower School

Welcome from Division Head Peggy Laurent

I’m excited and proud to tell you about Langley’s vibrant Lower School. Our program gradually and intentionally defines and shapes the critical years between Primary School and Middle School. Through our inquiry-based curriculum, students in grades 1-5 develop academic skills that allow them to ask important, probing questions and apply their learning to real-world problems.

In first grade, children begin reading books independently, then move from learning to read to reading to learn through nonfiction texts. By third grade they’re writing, publishing, and sharing their own “how-to” books. The math curriculum spirals throughout the Lower School years to build foundational skills in number sense, operations, fractions, decimals, and other concepts. Students work cooperatively and independently to apply strategies to real-life problems as they develop meta-cognitive thinking. In science, students grow from seeking to understand states of matter as first-graders to performing lab exercises to demonstrate and evaluate Newton’s three laws of motion as fifth-graders. And Lower School scientists visit our state-of-the art science labs several times a week as part of our inquiry-based instructional program.

By integrating the curriculum with children’s developmental stages, our expert teachers ensure that your child’s emotional intelligence and academic achievement continually strengthen each other. Inside and beyond the classroom, our supportive community helps children take meaningful risks as they develop their creativity, perseverance, and self-awareness. By the end of fifth grade, your child is ready for a mini-rotation of classes and eager to move on to our Middle School.

Please take a few moments to review important features of our program. I invite you to contact me with any questions, and to visit our Lower School in person. We would all love to meet you and your family.

Learn more about Peggy >>

Our program

To continue building your child’s curiosity, empathy, intelligence, creativity, and well-being, our Lower School program engages and encourages your child at every level: Interdisciplinary, inquiry-based lessons—combining the core disciplines with music, art, drama, library skills, technology, and physical education—inspire your child to notice previously unexplored connections, ask probing questions, and seek hands-on, creative solutions.

Small, flexible instruction groups at each grade level

Small, flexible instruction groups at each grade level allow teachers to differentiate their lessons according to each child’s strengths and capabilities, so your child builds a firm foundation in core subjects—and the confidence that goes with it.

A robust Resource Department

A robust Resource Department, including math and reading specialists, a learning specialist, and a counselor, helps teachers meet every student’s needs, from extra support to greater challenge and extension work.

Lab work with a science specialist

Lab work with a science specialist starts in first grade, preparing your child to delve deeper into STEM subjects every year.

Formal drama instruction

Formal drama instruction starts in fourth grade, and all fourth- and fifth-grade students play an instrument in band or the strings program—strengthening your child’s musical fluency and appreciation, along with self-expression and self-presentation.

Public-speaking opportunities

Public-speaking opportunities at every grade level gradually expand your child’s verbal, social, and leadership abilities.

Carefully integrated learning technologies in every subject

Carefully integrated learning technologies in every subject—including a 1:1 iPad program for grades 1 to 3 and a 1:1 Chromebook program for grades 4 and 5—ensure your child employs technology both thoughtfully and appropriately.

Learning opportunities outside the classroom

Learning opportunities outside the classroom, through frequent field trips and meetings with visiting authors and artists, expand your child’s capacity to apply learning to the wider world.

Student-led service learning projects

Student-led service learning projects and the fifth-grade Service Learning Committee engage and enhance your child’s compassion, social awareness, and leadership.

Special leadership roles for fifth-graders

Special leadership roles for fifth-graders, including serving as buddies for first-graders, leading assemblies, going on an overnight camping trip, performing in a musical, and playing on junior varsity sports teams, prepare your child to step confidently into Middle School.

Class rotations, advisory groups, and dedicated gathering spaces

Class rotations, advisory groups, and dedicated gathering spaces for fifth-graders prepare your child for the excitement, responsibility—and challenge—of life as a Middle Schooler.

Enrichment classes, the Lower School Chorus, and Club E.D.

Enrichment classes, the Lower School Chorus, and Club E.D. (our extended day program), offer your child engaging, meaningful ways to explore subjects or special talents beyond the traditional school day.

Inside Our Lower School

Lower School Hours

Grades 1-5:
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Optional Extended Day:
3:00 – 6:00 p.m.