Academics

Lower School

Lower School: The years of first through fourth grade.

The Lower School curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the academically gifted students through differentiation, including acceleration and enrichment.  Instruction at each grade level of the Lower SChool promotes higher-level thinking, self-motivation, responsibility, and independence. 

Goals

• Build a strong knowledge base and mastery of basic academic skills
• Develop students’ potential while interacting with intellectual peers
• Create a climate that values and enhances intellectual ability, talent, creativity, and decision-making
• Encourage development and use of abilities for self-appraisal, recognition of personal talents and interests, and the establishment of short and long-term goals
• Develop leadership skills, social awareness, and responsibility
• Build skills in independent study, self-directed learning, and research
• Encourage higher-level thinking, problem-solving and critical thinking
• Nurture creative thinking and expression.
• Foster aesthetic awareness and ability for self-expression through artistic skills
• Cultivate and reward opinions, reactions, and questioning attitudes that lead to divergent responses to real-life problems
• Provide processes that allow the students to deal with ideas, theories, and concepts requiring reflective, critical, and creative thinking

Class Hours

Monday – Thursday: 8:15AM – 3:15PM
Friday: 8:15AM – 2:15PM

Contact Glenna Lykens, Head of Lower School, for more information.

Core Values

Sycamore’s core values include
  • Respect: self, others, property, and time
  • Moral Courage: honesty, integrity, right action, purpose, courage
  • Relationships: appreciation, service, community, citizenship
  • Empathy: compassion, kindness, acceptance, diversity
These core values permeate the school and are taught through academics, after-school programs, athletics, assemblies, and daily interactions. Teachers have integrated these values into curricula, as those have been developed and revised.

Accelerated and Enriched Study

The curriculum includes reading and other language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and the arts. Students study content that is more abstract, more complex, broader, and deeper than the norm. Studies are both accelerated and enriched through flexible grouping strategies, field trips, resource people, mentors, and written and visual media. Instruction in music, art, Spanish, computer technology, and physical education is provided by specialists in those areas.

Thinking skills

After establishing a solid knowledge base, an emphasis is on critical and creative thinking skills, problem-solving and logical reasoning, research skills, and a wide variety of communication skills.

Problem Solving

Students are assisted in individual and group investigations of real problems that necessitate research and involve the development of a product. They create products in several categories: including written, oral, media/visual arts, and performing arts.

Environment

The development of positive self-esteem, independence, interpersonal skills, leadership, responsibility, appreciation of diversity, and the understanding of one’s giftedness are aims of Sycamore School. Teachers promote concern and compassion, risk-taking, curiosity, organization, communication, and imagination by establishing classrooms that are complex, open-ended, and accepting environments.