Lausanne is a Primary Years Programme (PYP) school.
IN THIS SECTION
Lausanne provides an enjoyable, vibrant and strong academic setting for the youngest of our learners.
Our Early Childhood curriculum engages children in hands-on learning as our teachers work to enhance the little Lynx comprehension and creativity. Small class sizes also allow teachers to individually adapt and meet students' individual needs and natural curiosities.
Young children learn best through play. Time is allotted into each day to spontaneous play and the building of gross motor skills. This is balanced with playful learning opportunities as our teachers make lesson plans come alive.
Junior Kindergarten (JK)
Children in JK are enthusiastic learners. They are encouraged by teachers to ask focused questions and explore various ways of learning.
Themes and units of inquiry build upon children's interests and learning and expand their horizons.
Lausanne Junor Kindergarten students continue to develop language, cognitive, motor and social-emotional skills and independence.
Our little Lynx learn in a way that begins developing globally-minded attitudes.
Senior Kindergarten (SK)
The SK years are full of growth and exploration. We love embarking on this exciting journey with you.
We introduce children to their classroom experience in a warm and nurturing environment. Utilizing the student-centered approach we are known for, children are encouraged to discover the world around them while connecting with their classmates and developing a strong sense of self.
Utilizing the inquiry-based Primary Years Programme (PYP), our teachers use best practices to help students become enthusiastic, caring, compassionate, internationally-minded learners and problem-solvers.
Students in grades PK, JK, and SK also receive visits from the lower school science teacher as needed to enhance the projects going on within the grade.
Students in the first grade are embarking on an important transition period. As they leave kindergarten behind for Lower School, they begin to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to move into deeper thinking and questioning.
Utilizing Lausanne's unique learning environment, students develop relationships with classmates that provide an environment where they are empowered to take risks and support when they make mistakes.
Second-grade students are becoming more active learners as they master the skills they learned in the grades before. They are beginning to build a strong foundation for their future creative and intellectual pursuits.
Their curiosity is engaged with numerous field trips as well as a supportive and engaging learning environment. Second-grade students are learning to care about each other and members of the larger school community.
Second grade continues the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Larning is student-centered, inquiry-based, and ensures that the student's strengths and interests are a part of the learning experience.
As students at Lausanne in third grade move into the second half of the Primary Years Programme (PYP), they are developing greater independence. They complete research projects, work collaboratively with their peers, and explore various technology platforms to communicate their understandings. They also experience greater emphasis on applying what they know to strengthen their skills. Teachers are also working with them to strengthen the Learner Profile traits, which include being effective communicators, caring friends, and reflective, knowledgeable students.
Wrapping up the Primary Years Programme (PYP) at Lausanne, the fourth-grade year is filled with in-depth research and collaborative learning. Students build on their educational foundations as they explore new ideas that strengthen their reading, writing, math, and Units of Inquiry skills while consolidating their knowledge of the PYP.
Students grow their knowledge and confidence while embarking on educational journeys. Students utilize collaboration skills while Learner Profile traits such as being reflective and thoughtful communicators come into play. The learning experiences extend beyond the classroom and include exciting trip opportunities that go along with topics covered in the classroom.
Learning about literacy is a fundamental skill for all of our Lower School students. This is especially true for our Pre-Kindergarten 3-year-olds (PK3). Within PK3, students are introduced to phonemic awareness authentically through daily classroom routines and activities. These include small group centers, one-on-one time with their teacher, and daily morning meetings where students are introduced to poems and song and begin to recognize letters in print. For writing skills, PK3 Lynx are exposed to an introduction to the Units of Study for Phonics program and practice writing their names. Communication skills are a large focus within our early childhood program. Learning to get along with friends, teachers and families and communicate your feelings are foundational skills for little ones. PK3 students learn these skills throughout the day in large and small groups. They also have the chance to practice these skills anywhere they are while on the Lower School campus.
Building on skills learned in PK3, our Junior Kindergarten (JK) students focus on phonemic awareness authentically through daily classroom routines and activities. Additionally, they learn to recognize and spell beginning SnapWords or high-frequency sight words by interacting with a morning meeting message from teachers to students and daily read-aloud books and independent book choices. Students also begin to say and recognize rhyming words. Using the knowledge gained in PK3, students continue to build on the introduction to the Units of Study for Phonics program and practice writing their names daily and writing SnapWords in sentences and even expressing their learning through pictures and sentences in writing journals. Communication skills continue to focus in JK as students participate in collaborative conversations and can express their thoughts and feelings appropriately. Each day, students are encouraged to communicate by asking and answering questions to gain information, seek help, or clarify something that is not understood. Listening skills are a crucial component of early literacy development as well. Throughout the day, students are taught to understand and apply such skills as following directions and being respectful listeners and JK community members. These skills also extend into a JK student's daily routines as another focus skill set is gaining independence and learning to become responsible for their own needs, such as putting their own backpack/folder getting materials out throughout the day needed for the next activity.
In Senior Kindergarten (SK) through fourth grade, literacy skills are taught through Reading and Writing Workshop. Through this curriculum model, Lausanne's Lower School teachers are all trained in the Reading and Writing Workshop at the Columbia University Teachers College. This workshop model incorporates a mini-lesson where skills are explicitly taught through independent work time and guided reading/writing groups while conferring with a teacher/learning specialist.
Each classroom, SK through fourth grade, has its unique library system designed to engage students at every reading level. Reading Workshop teaches reading and comprehension strategies that students apply at their reading level. The application of skills within Reading Workshop is done through exposure to a variety of reading strategies. Writing Workshop teaches students specific writing skills that are then applied at their levels, incorporating grammar skills. Phonics and spelling skills are guided through the Units of Study in Phonics (SK-second) and Words Their Way (third and fourth). These programs provide interactive instruction that enables students to apply the phonics skills they have learned in their writing.
Students in PK3-JK learn through four transdisciplinary themes in which all curriculum is interwoven, emphasizing science and social studies. Through this process, children develop healthy critical thinking, research, collaboration and communication skills. All of our units of inquiry provide a connection to a global perspective.
Examples of PK3 units of inquiry are a year-long garden unit where students help plant and maintain raised bed gardens on their playground and a study on communities.
Examples of JK units of inquiry are to study homes, the similarities and differences in homes around the world and a study in using art to express yourself.
Examples of SK units of inquiry are the impact of weather on our daily lives and a study of living things.
Examples of a first grade unit of inquiry are a study on animal habitats and another on the needs and wants of a society.
An example of a second grade unit of inquiry is learning how technology alters our lives through robotics and coding.
An example of a third grade unit of inquiry is exploring entrepreneurship.
In the fourth grade, students participate in the PYP Exhibition. The PYP Exhibition allows students to collectively synthesize all of the essential elements of the PYP in ways that can be shared with the whole school community. The PYP exhibition is a wonderful celebration of their readiness to transition to the Middle Years Programme in the Middle School.
In PK-4th grade, we use the Everyday Math curriculum from the University of Chicago.
In PK, math skills focus include number recognition and counting. Building upon these foundational skills, PK students also learn to connect numbers to quantities through one-to-one correspondence and even beginning concepts of adding together and taking away. All of this is taught through both direct instruction, small group lessons and incorporated organically in daily routines such as group time, work time and free play with classroom manipulatives.
Combining these skills in our Units of Inquiry as well as daily classroom routines such as calendar further cement young students' mathematical foundation. Through topics covered in our Units of Inquiry, as well as daily procedures in classrooms, students are exposed to identifying and creating patterns. In similar ways, students are also exposed to the concept of sequencing to round out their mathematical skill set. By the end of the year, students have an awareness of the basic foundations of math skills that will be expanded upon in Junior Kindergarten.
In Junior Kindergarten, math skills include building on previous knowledge. By taking number recognition and counting to a new level, students apply their learning and explore deeper concepts such as operations, measurement, graphing, higher-level patterning and positions and spatial relationships.
Students continue to build on mathematical skills from the previous school year as they advance through the Lower School and practice skills as well as gain new skills through math centers. All activities are taught through large and small groups as well as partner games to practice skills as well as work one-on-one with their teacher. Topics covered include numeration, operations and computation, data and chance, measurement, geometry and patterns, functions and algebra.
Specific skills for this grade can be found at:
In PK3-SK, science is incorporated into the Units of Inquiry. When applicable, our science expert, Dr. Frassinelli, visits the Early Childhood classes and participates in experiments with them in their classrooms.
Students in first through fourth grades connect their classroom science learning through units of inquiry and apply their knowledge when they go to the Lower School science lab two times in a seven-day rotation. Our experienced science teacher, Dr. Frassinelli, guides students through a science teaching model that includes hands-on science labs and partner work.
It truly becomes one of our Lower School students’ highlights of the day.
All Lausanne Lower School students benefit from daily language instruction. Understanding that the young brain learns new languages at a much higher rate than older ones, our early childhood students receive daily language instruction. In grades PK-SK, students receive daily Mandarin and Spanish from native speakers.
Having gained a strong foundation in both Mandarin and Spanish in the early childhood years, students in first through fourth grades expand on their language skills. In these Lower School grades, students receive daily Mandarin or Spanish from native speakers through an alternating language schedule.
Our world language teachers follow the learning goals of ACTFL (American Council on Teaching of Foreign Language). These national standards are taught through the “5 C’s”- Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons and Communities.
Knowing that PK students benefit most from less transitions, our youngest Lynx begin a co-curricular rotation by attending classes five out of seven days of the rotation.
JK students begin a full seven-day co-curricular rotation as they travel to a specialty class each school day.
SK students continue that full seven-day co-curricular rotation in addition to a STEAM class, ANTS (Acquiring New Technology Skills).
First through fourth-grade students also continue the full seven-day co-curricular rotation as they travel to a specialty class each school day.
In addition to ANTS, Lower School Lynx also receive instruction from skilled specialist teachers in Art, Music and Physical Education.
These students receive instruction from skilled specialist teachers in Art, Music, Physical Education, and Library. All Co-curricular teachers apply learning from the classroom instruction to their specialty area curriculum.