Each student is known as an individual with strengths and talents, and the relationships which develop between the student and the adults at school with whom he interacts routinely are critical. Each child is nurtured in these relationships and develops in confidence and sense of self. As a result, students become self-confident and independent learners, able to work within a group or alone.
Students learn early about honor, responsibility, respect and compassion, the four pillars of NSA's mission. In age-appropriate ways these four virtues are held up over and over again as students move from grade to grade. Students grow as members of their classes and grade, but also as members of the school community, at large.
The Lower School curriculum is reviewed each year to insure that students are provided with a solid foundation in proven programs. It incorporates a research-based reading/language arts program in the primary grades supplemented with leveled readers to created excitement and enthusiasm for reading. As students move to the upper elementary grades, novels are utilized to foster a love of literature and to guide students in not only basic grammar, spelling and writing skills but also in higher order thinking processes as well.
The Everyday Mathematics program incorporates mathematical processes as a part of everyday work and play in a way that fosters the development of mathematical intuition and understanding. A problem-solving approach in everyday situations is used to develop critical thinking skills.
The social studies curriculum in the Lower School helps students understand and experience not only history, geography, economics, cultures and social science of the world, but also their importance in our world as well.
Science is studied as both a process and as a product.
results in a product, which can be applied to daily life.
of the universe is gained as the result of scientific
Opportunities are provided for students to experience and
manipulative skills of increasing complexity, accuracy and
while increasing their knowledge.
In addition to these four core academic areas, students receive regular instruction in the fine arts, foreign language, physical education, computer and keyboarding, and library skills. It is critical that each student develop the technology skills that will enable him or her to be competitive in the years ahead and this foundation begins to be laid in the Lower School. Students encounter numerous types of technology day in and day out and are provided the exposure to become proficient. Also, regular field trips are coordinated to supplement instruction in the classroom.
The development of thinking and reasoning skills are key in every aspect of the curriculum. Students compare and contrast, establish cause and effect relationships, classify, evaluate, analyze and construct as is appropriate to the grade level. Often times, students work in groups to complete projects requiring higher-order thinking and problem solving.