girl with paintbrush

Grades 1 - 4

Overview

At the Academy, your child will be part of a rigorous learning community where skills are mastered, imagination and curiosity are nurtured, and where enrichment opportunities abound. Your child will also be supported and challenged at each developmental stage, so he/she emerges confident and capable for future academic achievement.

The small school community ensures your child receives individual attention while the community’s rich spiritual and moral values help him/her develop strong character and adept social skills. In the Academy’s supportive, multi-faith and culturally-diverse, Catholic school environment, your child will discover friendships, community connections, and enrich a strong spiritual foundation to last a lifetime.

Your child will benefit from the wisdom and tradition of success that has formed the Academy for over 150 years. In addition, your child will blossom in the care of attuned teachers trained in innovative teaching strategies and utilizing a full range of technological support, including interactive Star Boards in many classrooms. Your child will learn with students from more than 30 surrounding communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as well as international students.

As a member of a vibrant community, your child will come to discover his/her unique gifts, and learn to use these gifts for personal success, to help others at the Academy, and to serve those in need in the broader community.

The school day runs from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with a mid-morning recess/snack break and a forty-minute lunch/recess break. The Academy also offers an Extended Day Program which provides close supervision, homework support, organized and free play, crafts, enrichment opportunities and nutritious snacks for students between 2:30 and 6:00 p.m.

Academics

Your child’s early lower school education at the Academy will lead him/her gently through a rigorous academic curriculum, within a nurturing, small school community that ensures plenty of opportunities for one-on-one attention.

The academic aspects of school life complement the school’s strong values and focus on character. Your child will learn how to work diligently, discover talents, persevere through challenges, and cooperate with others. The classroom and daily schedule provide an orderly learning process with the flexibility to ensure your child finds his/her voice, empowers his/her imagination, drives his/her curiosity, and has fun.

The Academy’s early lower school program combines over 150 years of tradition with the latest innovations, including interactive Star Board technology in many classrooms. At the Academy, your child will blossom in a learning environment that promotes academic excellence in a low-stress, caring environment.

Religion

Emphasizes God’s goodness and God’s presence in your child’s life, respect for human life, and justice for all. Underlying themes include: God as creator, Jesus as teacher, love for the church, the sacraments, the commandments, learning prayers and celebrating the seasons of the church year.

Mathematics

Develops students’ abilities to become creative and critical thinkers through improving computation skills, problem-solving techniques, concept development and mental math skills. Activities are concrete, relevant and have everyday-life applications.

Reading & Language Arts

Takes a multi-sensory, multi-skills, kinesthetic approach to reading and writing. The program is phonics-based, and presents basic skills through repetition, exposure and modeling. It is structured to provide students with a developmental and integrative skills approach to beginning reading and writing. All four communication skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing – are mutually reinforced. This multi-faceted approach gives students the frequent exposure to the reading and writing process necessary for successful language acquisition. This method ensures student success in reading fluency and comprehension in literature-based reading programs. Learn more about the Academy's REACH Program for accelerated learning.

Science & Technology

Uses a multi-sensory approach through thematic units. Topics include: the solar system, matter, energy, simple machines, motion, forces, air, water, land, animals and plants. We complement our engaging, hands-on approach to science with direct observation in nature on the Academy’s 194 acres of fields, woods and ponds. Learn about the Academy's STEM Program for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Social Studies

Emphasizes your child’s place in his community, state, nation, and as a member of a global community. Through reading, writing, projects, group activities and cooperative learning opportunities, your child will learn about government, citizenship, our Earth, people past and present, careers, map skills, and Massachusetts history. Graphs and economics are also introduced. Community-building is promoted through cooperative learning experiences.

World Languages

Beginning in K2,  your child will be exposed to French and Spanish, with an exploratory program that focuses on listening and speaking skills. Classes meet once a week. Spanish and French lessons are introductory and build a foundation in world language skills. The alphabet, numbers and colors are a strong focus. Songs and games bring the program to life. By the end of grade 2 your child will be prepared to use the skills learned in a more interactive setting in Grades 3 and 4.

In Grade 3, the goal of the program is to initiate children in the appreciation of Spanish and French language and culture through active engagement of all of their senses. Topics include numbers, colors, shapes, use of masculine and feminine articles, following simple directions, expressing personal needs, defining seasons, days of the week, and the alphabet. In Grade 4, students continue to study parts of the body, items of clothing, spelling numbers, and composing simple sentences in the target language. Participation in the early language program helps students in later intensive programming that begins in Grade 5.

See more about the Academy's World Language Program.

Want to Learn More?

Come see for yourself what is going on in the 1st - 4th grade classrooms. Contact the Admissions Office to set up a personal tour.

Learn more about Student Life, Athletics and Guidance, as well as our Enrichment Programs and our Extended Day Program that runs until 6 p.m. on school days.