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.

Program Highlights

Language Arts

Catalina takes an integrated approach to language development, reading, and writing. Shared methods, tools, and programs across the grades ensure students never miss a beat from year to year.

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Singapore Math

New math concepts are taught in a progression: from concrete (hands-on activities) to pictorial (pictures are used to model problems) to abstract (equations). Students learn why the math works as they learn to calculate it, and they apply concepts to everyday life.


With strong roots in Spanish culture, both Santa Catalina and Monterey are ideal environments to learn the language and use it. Instruction begins in Grade 4 with conversation and games that introduce students to Spanish in an engaging, friendly way.

Hands-on Science

Our curriculum centers around labs and hands-on experiments. We use the Full Option Science System (FOSS), which allows for dynamic, inquiry-based study of everything from biology to earth science to engineering.

Experiential Education (IEB)

In Grades 4 and 5, students take overnight field trips as part of our IEB program, which stands for “Imagine. Explore. Become.” The excursions immerse students in history topics while helping them build essential life skills.

Swimming in P.E.

The beauty of having a pool on campus? Swimming is offered as part of the P.E. curriculum starting in Grade 1. At every grade level, our approach to physical education strengthens muscles, builds crucial motor skills, boosts confidence, and instills sportsmanship.

The Classroom in Action

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