Building Upon Foundations
Habits that were taught and reinforced throughout the Enrichment years continue to be emphasized in the Lower School.
The program’s focus is on students learning core knowledge with increased skill acquisition in reading, writing, and mathematics.
The language arts curriculum in grades 1-3 is comprised of Orton-Gillingham for phonics and spelling instruction. Emphasis is placed on reading and comprehending classical literature. Classical literature provides a rich context for discussing good versus evil and highlighting virtuous conduct. Shurley grammar supports the study of grammar.
Fifth grade initiates a more advanced study of English grammar. Fifth-grade students compare and contrast Latin and English grammar. This comparison increases their understanding of the structure of language.
Mathematics is taught in a balanced, practical way. Concepts are taught and experienced through concrete means, such as the use of hands-on manipulatives. As students master concepts on a concrete level, they then memorize the basic computation facts. Mastery of basic math facts promotes mathematical fluency in the higher grades. Students are challenged to demonstrate mastery of mathematical knowledge through applied problems and critical thinking. Heritage uses Math in Focus, Singapore math, for Kindergarten – 5th grade to ensure continuity and consistency with math.
The Veritas History program is used for grades 1-8. Lower School studies are as follows:
First Grade: Creation through the Fall of Rome
Second Grade: St. Augustine through Scottish Reformer, John Knox
Third Grade: Prince Henry the Explorer through the Missouri Compromise
Fourth Grade: The Monroe Doctrine through Modern Day
Fifth Grade: Minoan Culture through the End of the Roman Empire
Appropriate historical songs are taught in each class as a means of facilitating students’ grasp of key periods of history. These songs provide “hooks” that enable students to recall more quickly the flow of history. Abstract concepts of history are often difficult for young children to understand. To help young students learn history, Heritage uses biographies as well as “living” books covering the lives of historical figures. This enables students to become familiar with the lives of men and women during the periods being studied.
Nature Study comprises the core of the science curriculum for PreK-2nd grade. The study of nature helps children to develop all of their senses and trains them to observe, count, classify, interpret, draw, and record. These skills form the basis for the future study of science, history, and the visual arts.
Science is taught in grades 3-5. The curriculum explores:
Third Grade: The Human Body
Fourth Grade: The Solar System
Fifth Grade: General Science
Latin study begins in third grade. Students, at this stage in their development, have a natural proclivity for memorization. It is the prime time for these students to acquire the grammatical forms of Latin through learning chants and stem endings. A student’s affinity for memorization also promotes vocabulary acquisition. In 4th grade, students grow their knowledge of Latin vocabulary and learn how to translate Latin sentences.
Fifth grade initiates a more advanced study of English and Latin grammar. This comparison increases their understanding of the structure of language. During this year, students follow the storyline of the Iliad and the Aeneid.
All lower school students are exposed to classical musicians and their works. Students are taught to listen and to hear discriminately to begin to understand musical ideas. They also learn to sing, as accurately as possible, and to develop a working knowledge of musical notation.
Lower school students learn many elements of art such as shape, line, color, and texture. In addition, students are introduced to the use of different mediums: clay, tempera paint, watercolor, charcoal, and crayon. The periods studied in Art align with the periods studied in History. These are as follows:
First Grade: Egyptian and Roman designs
Second Grade: Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic Artwork
Third Grade: From Renaissance Art to the Impressionists
Fourth Grade: From Post-Impressionism through Modern Art of the 20th Century
Fifth Grade: Greek, Roman, and Early Christian paintings, drawings, and mosaic
The goal of Physical Education is to prepare students for a lifetime of healthy living while training them in activities that will inspire as well as equip them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Heritage believes that athletic and physical training, in which students regularly participate, will produce lifelong results by strengthening their bodies, minds, and character through discipline, skills acquisition, consistent practice, self-control, and teamwork.
The computer is a tool. As with any tool, it has its appropriate place and usage. Heritage recognizes the benefits of such a tool and actively encourages its use by teachers during classroom presentations and by students in upper grades for research and writing assigned papers. Heritage also recognizes that computers have their deficiencies as well, including, but not limited to, passive learning. Heritage begins to instruct students formally in keyboarding, basic computer, and Internet use in 6th grade.
Weekly Chapel is planned and implemented to inspire students to learn the joy and importance of worship. Chapel takes place every Friday morning for all students in grades 1-5. Parents and guests are encouraged to participate.
Heritage students attend churches representing a wide variety of worship styles, from liturgical to traditional to contemporary. Chapel aims to enable students to become better worshippers no matter what their families’ denomination or style of worship may be.
The Chapel experience is a fundamental and distinctive part of Heritage education. Its purpose is to provide the spiritual overtone that should guide students’ decision-making in their daily lives.
- Spelling Bees
- Math Olympics
- Creative Writing Contests
- Art Festivals
- ERB Standardized Testing
- The National Latin Exam
Heritage offers various clubs that complement the core curriculum of the school and allow students to pursue increased understanding and competency in a variety of interests. Club offerings vary from quarter to quarter and are offered to PreK-5th grade students.
Students in grades 1-5 select a specific service project that they will complete during the school year and present as a project report to their classmates in the spring.
The Bible curriculum in grades 1-6 utilizes the Walking with God and His People series distributed through Christian Schools International.
Each curriculum in grades 1 through 4 begins with the study of a New Testament epistle, challenging students to find ways they can live their faith in Jesus Christ.
The 5th-grade curriculum focuses on God’s covenant promises.
From Monday to Thursday, students engage in liturgy, Bible readings, and prayer. These activities are supplemented with regular Bible class in first grade through high school, fostering an understanding of Scripture. On Fridays, the school community gathers for chapel, with grades 1-5 and upper school students having separate services, and a monthly all-school chapel.
The Friday chapel service involves Scripture reading and hymns, with messages delivered by faculty, students, or staff members. The aim is to provide a time for worship and to prepare students to be active participants in their churches. Parents, family, and guests are welcome to join these services.
Recognizing the importance of play in young children's education, all lower school students get a half-hour break mid-morning for outdoor play, supporting their physical and social development. This break is also extended to sixth-grade and middle school students for fostering fellowship with classmates and teachers.