As a community, we take pride in knowing that our children will grow up in the Lower School continuing to develop a love and respect for learning that will prepare them to assume the challenges of leadership in the world beyond the Ranney gates. Supporting students through their educational and social development requires a strong partnership between school and home. Therefore, we always welcome and encourage ongoing communication and participation in the learning process with our Ranney families.
Our curriculum and teaching philosophy were developed to support each stage of a child’s development, recognizing that no two children develop at the same rate. The foundation of the Lower School’s academic program is its outstanding faculty - teachers who are highly experienced and highly qualified to implement instructional approaches that identify student potential, inspire children to meet high standards and engage children at all levels of learning to innovate and create.
Whether it’s exploring the themes of President’s Day by demonstrating knowledge and understanding of historical events and the principles of patriotism, celebrating Dental Health Month with activities on hygiene and healthy eating, or developing math skills by leapfrogging along a life-size number line, building robots, blogging and avatar designing–Lower School is all about children being involved in learning and “making it real.”
Teachers are encouraged to develop multiple avenues for helping students meet the standards of the Lower School academic program in a manner best suited to their learning style. Prior to the opening of the school year, teachers review each student with previous teachers and parents as needed to identify student capacities and potentials and well as challenges in all areas of development and curriculum. This information along with early observation and student input, informs teachers in their planning of student goals from Beginners, through Grade 5. As students mature, they take a more active role in establishing their learning goals.
In order for a students to establish their personal learning goals, they must develop a self-awareness of their capacities over time. Metacognition is an important tool used to develop that self-awareness regarding understanding one’s personal learning style. Students are guided through exercises that help them develop their ability to analyze their thinking and learning needs.
This approach to student learning offers a comprehensive perspective of each child's talents, so each individual’s intellectual potential can flourish. Once identified, the goals become a tool for teachers to differentiate curriculum that is rich in skill development, comprehension, application, ingenuity and analysis. They provide a framework that guides the definition of rigorous outcomes, yet contemporary in instruction and thorough in assessment. As students mature, they develop the ability to advocate and adapt as they strive for excellence.