We challenge and support students with an innovative curriculum that encourages success in college and beyond.
Lower School Academics
At Harker’s lower school, we believe that academics should incorporate more than what students learn in the classroom. Our goal is for our students to develop into well-rounded, inquisitive adults. That is why we designed a curriculum built upon deep learning in core academic subjects, comprehensive teaching techniques, diverse education experiences and rich, extracurricular activities.
Lower School Curriculum
We introduce academic subjects early on to motivate our students as they start their educational journeys at Harker. Starting in kindergarten, students dive into topics such as math, language arts, social studies and science. Grade 1 students start to explore Spanish language and culture, which helps them understand not only their own culture and language by comparison, but begins their journey to becoming global citizens. Beginning in grade 1 students learn from subject specialists, dedicated solely to teaching their areas of expertise.
Our teachers use a variety of instructional methods to build skills and encourage critical thinking. With the support of subject specialists, teachers design classroom experiences that capture our students’ interests and inspire a lifelong love of learning.
Beyond our core academic classwork, our curriculum emphasizes skills that are building blocks of your child’s education:
- Organizational skills
- Study and library skills
- Time management skills
Our wide-ranging programs and extracurricular activities include opportunities for artists, musicians, athletes, science lovers, history buffs, writers and all students to discover their passions.
We inspire our students to develop a lifelong love of learning with a curriculum that features engaging classes taught by subject specialists including:
- Social studies
- Language arts
- Computer science and applications
- Performing and visual arts
- Physical education
- Study skills & character development
With placement tailored for each student’s success, your child will be motivated to learn, create, collaborate and participate in the classroom. Our students build confidence in their academic skills and take on learning challenges that meet their individual needs.
We look after our students’ progress regularly throughout the year, offering opportunities for students to move to different learning groups when there may be a better fit.
Our teaching team is the cornerstone of our academic program. All of Harker’s lower school teachers hold bachelor’s degrees and many have advanced degrees. With a passion for teaching our young students, our lower school teachers are deeply compassionate and nurturing caretakers in the classroom.
At Harker’s lower school, learning extends beyond the classroom walls. We offer a number of global learning opportunities with sister schools across the world to help our students understand life as global citizens. Our kindergarten students enjoy video conferences with their peers in Japan; older students learn about science research in Costa Rica.
Character Development & Outreach
With dedicated character development curriculum starting in kindergarten, our students learn to be responsible, resilient and respectful people. Our service learning opportunities develop their awareness of civic responsibility, creating strong leaders and passionate citizens who want to make a difference.
As students progress through the lower school, our information literacy curriculum advances with them. While our youngest students are learning through active play in the library, our fourth and fifth grade students are learning to research, cite and report on information found with our extensive library databases and resources.
We celebrate all students and their unique gifts here at Harker. Beyond small class sizes that allow for individual attention and dedicated time for extra help after school, our teachers and counselors provide consistent academic guidance and actively support your child’s progress.
We design our programs and offerings at Harker to inspire students to explore their passions, develop their strengths and share their talents with their classmates, teammates and the greater community. Our students are eager to make a difference, and we celebrate all of their accomplishments.