The elementary and middle grades at the Laurel Hill School offer a comprehensive student plan that correlates individual potential and readiness with clearly stated personal, social and academic goals. From kindergarten through eighth grade, the core of the student plan remains focused on the developing child as a valued, responsible and productive person capable of appreciating the complexity of the world and adding to its richness. Each child progresses at his/her own pace in order to achieve both personal and academic success. The curriculum is responsive to different levels of development in basic skills and to different student learning styles. A rich variety of teaching methods, techniques and resources are utilized.
The early grades focus on phonemic awareness, phonics and word knowledge as well as a strong emphasis on comprehension and inquiry skills. The reading program spirals to a full English program as study advances in the later grades. All grades enjoy a literature-rich environment that creates opportunities for the critical analysis of literature and its vital contribution to understanding human nature and society. We encourage a lifelong love of books – student participation in the Headmaster’s Book Club and the Classic Classics literature program aids the achievement of this goal.
The writing process is emphasized at the Laurel Hill School. Integrated with the reading curriculum, students experience writing as a craft and as an art. Boys and girls learn to compose, edit, revise and publish. Students are introduced to all forms of creative writing, poetry, non-fiction, and specialized writing styles for social studies and science. Students keep journals and anthologies and submit personal writing for school publication.
LHS moves beyond basic arithmetic as it nurtures critical thinking, applications, mental computation skills, and connections to other subject areas. The program incorporates real-world everyday problem solving, cooperative learning experiences, and continuous exploration through hands-on activities. Mathematics is approached as a natural language for describing objects, events, ideas and action planning. Math is a fun and fascinating “I-can-do-it!” happening that adapts to the individual needs of our students.
Science has multifaceted goals at Laurel Hill. Boys and girls experience science as a method of investigating the world, interacting with the environment, and acquiring knowledge. Students test new ideas and apply their learning in an environmentally and socially responsible way. Our annual Science Fair and yearly participation in the Brookhaven National Laboratory Science Fair provide stimulating settings to pursue full-scale research. Hands-on lab experiments, enrichment projects, field trips, visiting scientists and naturalists, and more complement the science curriculum.
Social Studies is a rich journey through time, place and culture. The program is designed to help the children better understand themselves and local and world communities. Culture, government, economics, and the rights and duties of citizenship are studied. Geography is intensively studied as an indispensable companion to the social studies program. Changing historical values and ethics are also discussed. Many projects, trips and special events accompany the social studies curriculum.
Spanish & Latin. Students acquire an early working knowledge of world languages to encourage continued study, and to enhance the appreciation of cultural diversity. Spanish begins in kindergarten and Latin is added to the language program in the sixth grade. Inviting and active speaking and listening learning are part of the fun-filled methods used throughout.