Lower School Academics
At Maclay Lower School we are dedicated to the whole child. Our curriculum and teaching approach emphasizes the social, emotional, and intellectual well-being of our students. We strive to bring connectedness to learning and provide enriching learning experiences that allow students to explore their passions and master the skills and knowledge needed to be successful. Students are encouraged to take risks, stretch their thinking, and challenge themselves with hands-on learning experiences. Our teachers work with the end in mind, crafting learning goals that allow for the incorporation of inquiry, 21st-century learning skills, and individual personalization while addressing best practices in education. Whether our students are making solar ovens out of pizza boxes or taking part in Colonial Fairs, student engagement is at the forefront of everything we do. We know that it is the small things that add up to create a community of learners dedicated to true understanding and life-long learning.
Genius Hour gives students time to explore their own interests, wonders and passions. It gives students autonomy over their learning and provides the time to be creative. Every Friday afternoon, the entire Lower School participates in Genius Hour at Maclay. Students are given the time, freedom, and resources to deeply explore topics they are passionate about. Students are supported through the process of learning a topic, hobby or skill that defines who they are and who they might become. Genius Hour is a time to learn and share with fellow students and others while celebrating individual innovation.
Project Based Learning
Maclay Lower School is committed to preparing students for college, careers, and citizenship. When students are motivated and engaged, deeper learning occurs. Project-based learning is an integral part of assessment and learning at Maclay. Students produce evidence of learning through rigorous authentic real-world problem solving and reflection, often times for a public audience. Students learn to be critical thinkers, manage time effectively, and work collaboratively. These skills prepare students for life outside of Maclay.
As adults, our students will encounter problems and have careers that require a multidisciplinary approach. In Lower School, students are exposed to the interdisciplinary nature of curriculum. Relationships within and among curricula areas are emphasized. This type of learning allows students to make rich, meaningful connections and interact with the complexity of the world.