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Lower School Overview

In the Wilberforce Lower School, we believe in teaching the whole child, growing him or her into a lifelong learner of God's creation. This occurs through the formation of habits, joyful discovery, and holding students to an attainable and challenging academic standard through living books that have withstood the test of time.

In addition to core academic subjects, all students attend a weekly chapel, daily Bible lessons, art, music, and physical education. Lower School students also have a composer study, a picture study, a poetry study, and a nature study that rotate in topic each trimester. In Class Five, students begin studying Latin.

We encourage students to engage in nature and play creatively. We enjoy nature walks; each classroom has a nature table where students bring in exciting discoveries to share. Students enjoy the outdoors every day, weather permitting. We purposely offer days with limited hours in lower grades. School days gradually increase over the years, allowing more time for younger students to play or to incorporate sports or music without over-scheduling.

When you visit our classrooms, you will see the joy students have in learning, as well as the excellent level of the academics. Our loving teachers engage in heart-to-heart conversations with students who need guidance, pointing to the scriptures and reflecting on the human heart.

-Hyme Park
Lower School Head

The classical approach recognizes grammar, logic, and rhetoric as three developmental stages through which all children pass. The Lower School years (preschool through grade five) are the grammar years, a time to master the facts and frameworks of every subject. This factual mastery comes naturally to children in these elementary years. Grammar students are sponges; students readily absorb facts, songs, and ideas.

We take advantage of this penchant by deliberately giving young students high quality material that is worthy of absorbing. This is why the elementary years at Wilberforce in New Jersey teaches curriculum that unites classic, time-honored works of literature, history, art, and music, integrated with a biblical perspective. We realize that these Christian elementary grammar studies will form the foundation on which our students will build the rest of their lives. Children’s affections, habits and relational patterns are also forming during the grammar years. This is the time to cultivate a love for learning, good habits of study, and a pattern of kindness with others.