Fueling a lifelong passion for learning
In our Reggio Emilia-inspired Primary School, curiosity and constructive play drive children’s learning. Wondering, exploring, and solving problems together, our youngest students develop socially, emotionally, academically, and spiritually—building an essential foundation for lifelong learning success.
Academics and Enrichment
Primary School students learn early literacy and math skills, as well as science and social studies concepts. Our enrichment program includes motor development, Spanish, drama, music, and library skills.
We intentionally attend to each child as an individual, ensuring every student develops at the right pace for them. We use teacher observations, benchmarks, and portfolios to assess progress.
Taking advantage of our dedicated motor room and outdoor space, our Primary School’s motor curriculum promotes an active lifestyle and is aligned with our Reggio-inspired program. Students attend motor classes for 30 minutes once or twice a week with a dedicated motor teacher, learning how their bodies work through rhymes, songs, games, and movement. Lively activities, relaxing exercises, and active stretches help them develop fine and gross motor skills and prepare them for their future physical education experience.
We hold parent- teacher conferences multiple times each year, and at other times at the teacher’s or parent’s request. Parents receive detailed reports on their child’s academic and personal development.
We encourage parents to take part in our students’ learning lives by volunteering as Homeroom Parents, for studio and class activities, and for Parents Association events.
Our Reggio-inspired emergent curriculum arises from students’ questions and interests. Teachers observe children’s conversation and play, and from these observations spring projects that often span weeks or months. Students learn and grow intellectually and personally as they explore, experiment, and engage in daily activities; teachers ask questions to inspire thinking, provide materials and experiences that generate more questions, and assist in student research. Through the St. Francis approach, our youngest students embark on their educational journey with focused and active learning, collaboration and communication rich in dialogue, and meaningful, student-centered study.
Rice Early Literacy
Our thriving, pupil-centered collaboration with Rice University’s School Literacy and Culture project positions teachers as “story takers” who carefully record students’ thoughts, words, and ideas, which classmates then act out. This approach allows educators to hone in on specific literacy skills, including print concepts, word encoding, vocabulary, and punctuation—preparing students for the Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop methodology of Lower School.