Lower School

First - Fifth Grade

Children in the Lower School are eager to explore, question, and seek to define the world around them. With each year of growth, they develop higher level thinking, problem-solving ability, engage in complex academic content, and experience more meaningful social relationships.

Learn more about our Lower School curriculum and special programs below.

First Grade 

Second Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade 

Ready to see our classrooms in action? Let us know what grade level you are interested in, and we will be happy to show you around our special school. 


Lower School Students:

  • Gather for daily chapel services
  • Join in the school-wide focus on life skills and social/emotional wellness
  • Enjoy Buddy Program activities in upper and lower grades
  • Attend weekly art, music, Spanish, and physical education classes
  • Share in service projects and treasured holiday traditions

Core Curriculum

Lower School curriculum is founded in authentic real-life problems, scenarios, and challenges. Teachers design daily learning around student curiosities, games, and group discussion to maximize engagement. In these primary grades, students develop strategic thinking skills, learn to collaborate with their peers, and explore their role as an upstanding citizen.

A group of 5th grade students pose with JE Dunn construction hats for their BizTown day project.

5th grade students visit BizTown where students work together to start their own businesses! Students ensure success by creating business partnerships, selling goods and services to citizens, and creating profits to pay off business loans. They even start the day with special ribbon-cutting ceremony with JE Dunn volunteers to open their businesses to the public.

A group of four students pose with a product they constructed for a St. Paul's Shark Tank Unit.

Fourth grade students participate in Shark Tank entrepreneurship projects. During official pitch sessions for expert Sharks, students present product concepts, advertising, and prototypes. They even answer tough questions about profit margins, pricing, and supply/demand. We are always amazed by the ongoing product creativity. Recent examples include: a party planning suitcase, a lego sorter vacuum, a snack delivery drone, and a kitchen appliance that packs lunches.

A St. Paul's 3rd grade poses with her handmade model of a prairie schooner.

At the end of their Oregon Trail unit, 3rd grade students test out their handmade prairie schooners on different surfaces including turf, sidewalk, and grass. Using a range of materials like wood, string, and leather, students design these wagon models to transport pioneers across difficult terrain. After testing their creations, they discuss possible design changes to make their schooners sturdier.

Two St. Paul's students smile with a gummy worm and paperclip after completing a STEAM challenge.

In the lead-up to our school-wise STEAM Fair every spring, students across the school complete special activities in our school Makerspace. Pictured here, 3rd graders work together to save Fred (the gummy worm) after his boat capsized. Using only paperclips, students work in pairs to get Fred from the capsized boat (the cup) to the life saver trapped underneath. This is just one of many activities that get 3rd grade students excited about STEAM learning!

A St. Paul's second grade student holds up a poster on Cyprus with her grandparents.

Every year, Second Grade students complete a Destination Asia unit exploring areas including: China, Japan, India, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Students read fiction and nonfiction materials, create artifacts representing different geographical areas, and they each become an expert in one country of their choice. The unit culminates in a presentation day for parents and friends! Students use greetings from their country’s language and show off all they created throughout the unit.

A St. Paul's first grade student performs as Charles Schulz for a music program.

One beloved first grade tradition at St. Paul's is the Hooray for the USA unit. Students each choose influential Americans to study, including scientists, athletes, politicians, and other historical figures. The unit culminates in a presentation where students all dress up as their chosen Americans to perform and sing classic patriotic tunes for friends and family. 

A group of St. Paul's 3rd grade students pose in Oregon Trail costumes.

3rd grade students wrap up their Oregon Trail unit with a day dedicated to pioneer games, activities, and a feast! Parent volunteers organize wheelbarrow racing, quilting, writing with quill pens, and a pioneer lunch featuring chicken stew, biscuits, dried fruit, bacon, and cinnamon donuts cooked over a fire. This immersive experience helps students imagine life in the mid-1800s!

St. Paul's 5th grade students work on coding Ozobots in the Makerspace.

5th graders experiment with Ozobots in Makerspace as an introduction to coding and circuitry. These bots detect colors and follow paths with specific codes. The students explore how they work and learned how to write code and transfer it to their bots. Ozobots are just one of the gadgets 5th graders interact with during STEAM time. They also use Makey Makeys, Microbits, 3D printers, and even try out some soldering!

4th grade students tie wishes to a St. Paul's tree.

After completing the novel, Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, students create their own wishtree for St. Paul’s to enjoy. The book explores the Irish history of writing down wishes on pieces of cloth and hanging them from a tree’s branches. The St. Paul’s 4th grade wish tree inspires us all to be more accepting, kind, and to appreciate our differences.

A second grade student poses with a robot he constructed out of cardboard.

Second grade students build robots designed to solve a specific problem and then they display their work in a collaborative Robot Museum. Students have designed robots to walk dogs, clean the kitchen, and even disperse seeds in gardens.

Two St. Paul's fifth graders pose with their Class of 2025 shirts.

In the spring, 5th grade students stop by the middle school for a special “move-up” event to get them pumped up for the next school year! Teachers introduce middle school electives, students tour the classrooms, and they pick up their special class t-shirts. What are students usually most excited about? Decorating their lockers! What are they typically most nervous about? Getting to middle school classes on time.

A group of St. Paul's first grade students perform choreography at their Halloween music program.

Unique to first grade is the Halloween music program. Students practice Halloween-themed songs and choreography and perform for family and friends during the last week of October. They also lead the whole school in singing Halloween songs at the school's Halloween Ball!

Lower school students work on an engineering activity in the school's Maker Space.

Lower school students work on a coding activity in the school's Maker Space.

Lower School Highlights

In Lower School, students start to take on more responsibility in the St. Paul's community through chapel and the Buddy Program. In addition, they begin to develop their leadership skills while exploring their interests and passions.