Lower School Approach

Learning From the World Around Us

The world of Pre-kindergarten through Grade 4 at Westside is one of questions and journeys, independence and collaboration, where our teachers celebrate each child's special talents.

Students are encouraged to develop their own thoughts and become independent thinkers. Teachers often take the role of facilitator: Talking with students -- instead of at them - they emphasize that how one reaches an answer is as important as the answer itself. In all of the classrooms, teachers help students develop independent skills.

From kindergarten on, students learn by doing. Teachers teach new ideas, concepts and curriculum in a variety of ways, challenging every learning style, and showing your child that learning is fun. Students also start presenting and speaking in front of their class. By Middle School, they are confident and poised in front of their classmates, groups of parents, or the entire Westside student body.

An integrated, project based curriculum allows students to spend time learning with their class, in collaborative teams, and on their own. Through third grade, each class is lead by a teacher and assistant.

Whether it's taking advantage of learning from a whale washed up on a nearby beach, or listening to an ornithologist share her knowledge of owls, or by spending the night at a working Pioneer Farm, our students are acutely aware of the world as their classroom, and complete Lower School ready for the social and academic challenges of Middle School.