Our Lower School program is where the foundation for lifelong learning begins. In grades K-6th, our students are encouraged and challenged with the building blocks of phonics, reading, spelling, grammar, math, science, writing, and Latin vocabulary. Each core class is taught in conjunction with Biblical teachings and supported by specialty classes. Our students participate in computer lab, music, art, chapel, P.E., and media center each week to provide a well-rounded experience.
The biblically integrated curriculum used at each grade level at Calvary Day School is developmentally appropriate. The reading curriculum in K-2 is heavily phonics based. The textbooks used in each grade are selected from a variety of Christian and secular publishers.
Our Lower School offers a rigorous communications curriculum while nurturing our students to reach his or her full potential. Our mission is to partner with parents to equip students to think, learn, and live from a Biblical worldview by integrating God and His Word as the primary source of Truth.
Teachers use a variety of teaching strategies and styles to reach all learners and challenge them in the areas of writing, reading, grammar, spelling and vocabulary. We use the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) for our writing program. In order to increase our students’ vocabulary, we use Wordly Wise. Both the IEW and Wordly Wise programs are used school wide in order to achieve a deeper understanding of and success in the written language. Our spelling curriculum uses Purposeful Design as its’ main source text. Our spelling focuses on spelling patterns, understanding the rules of spelling, and application of those spelling rules and patterns. Daily Grammar Practice (DGP) and the textbook, Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics are used in our grammar study. Our reading program starts with a strong beginning in preschool and kindergarten of phonemic and phonological awareness. This strong foundation launches our students into emergent readers that develop into fluent readers. Our curriculum utilizes reading textbooks, anthologies of short stories, and novels to gain a deeper understanding of strategies and literary components in order to increase comprehension. All of these components of our communications curriculum center on God’s Word in order to know Him personally and make Him known.
CDS Lower School uses Saxon Math. Saxon is unlike traditional texts in which students are taught and expected to learn an entire mathematical concept in one day. Instead of practicing 30 problems of the same kind, Saxon Math builds mastery through daily practice of skills and concepts taught in earlier lessons. Students will have a hard copy of a math book in class, but will have an online edition to use at home. The user name and password for students to access their math book will be sent home.
In the Lower School fine arts department, we believe each child is made in God’s image. Since we are created in His image, the creativity of God is inside of us. God intended for the arts to bring joy and beauty into our lives, and to bring honor and glory to Him. Through weekly music and visual art courses, students learn vocabulary and skill sets related to the arts, as well as 21st century skills like self-control, self-discipline, listening, and teamwork. The Lower School classes provide a solid foundation for students to continue studying the arts in the Upper School. Lower School students have opportunities to showcase their talents in the arts through various musical performances throughout the school year as well as an art show during the fall semester.
Students in 3rd -6th grades learn Latin because it is a foundation for learning other languages and understanding English. We use the Cambridge Minimus series in 3rd and 4th grades, the Leap into Latin curriculum in 5th and 6th grades, and the Cambridge Primary Latin Course additionally in 6th grade. Students not only learn vocabulary and grammar but also learn mythology, culture and history which put the language in context. Our students learn Latin through a variety of activities besides reading and translation including drama, songs, games and projects.