The Lower School educates students from first through third grade. Students move between two core subject teachers, one teaches math and science, while the other teaches Language Arts-Reading and Social Studies. In addition to the core content areas, students travel to other teachers for specialized classes including Art, Music, Spanish, P.E., and Technology.
Lower School is a time of explosive growth. The program builds on the skills mastered in early childhood by focusing on more formal/traditional study and independence. Hands-on learning activities and centers are consistently incorporated, but they are fused with other traditional methods for teaching and learning. The classroom consists of a more structured learning environment. Students spend more time at desks and/or tables, and the amount of direct instruction is increased. Classroom rules and instruction are designed to ensure appropriate routines and materials are used and followed. Learning activities are designed to promote critical thinking skills that become habitual and automatic.
Teachers use methodology and materials to help students learn information accurately and more rapidly. Learners are taken through the steps of learning systematically and intentionally, helping them to see the purpose and result of each step. Teachers explain exactly what students are expected to learn, demonstrate the steps needed to accomplish the task, and provide opportunities for useful practice. Students are motivated to examine the information, learn the vocabulary, memorize the rules, and recite the material learned. Through repetition and narration, students demonstrate their comprehension of the subject matter.
St. Philip's is accredited by and is a member of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) and National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).