Lower School (K-5) Curriculum

The emphasis of the Lower School curriculum is educating the whole child. While offering an excellent academic program, Santa Catalina Lower School also emphasizes the arts, music, physical education, technology, and character education. The power of learning through play is celebrated. The Santa Catalina experience provides all children opportunities to shine in a safe and nurturing environment.

We offer a balanced reading program that engages students in differentiated literacy experiences through phonics and authentic texts. In PreK through Grade 1, we use the Orton-Gillingham method, which takes a multisensory approach. In grades 1 through 5, students study reading, spelling, and vocabulary patterns through word sorting.

Boy smiling in class
Girl raising her hand

Our students develop a love for writing as they are guided through each step of the process: rehearsing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. In grades 1 through 5, we use the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop method, which emphasizes the process of writing.

We focus on understanding mathematical processes and problem solving rather than arriving at answers using prescribed, memorized methods. Using the Singapore Math curriculum, our teachers move students from concrete to pictorial representations of math concepts before using more abstract algorithms. Emphasis is on the development of strong number sense and a deeper understanding of place value. We provide a visual approach to solving word problems.

Girl and boy on slide
Boy writing on board