The Lower School program at Valley School of Ligonier is designed to meet each child at his or her current performance level and guide them to reach their maximum potential. Our low student-to-teacher ratio enables children to learn in flexible, small groups that offer the support—as well as the challenge—that children need for success. Students enjoy bright and spacious classrooms that encourage a hands-on approach to learning and engagement of both mind and body. Our robust and dynamic program provides students with opportunities to explore and discover their passions. Students in grades K-4 have Spanish, Science, Art, Music, Technology, and Library multiple times per week, and Sports 5 of the 6-day rotation.
Character Education is a highlight of the Lower School experience. Fostering responsible and mindful citizenship and positive personal development is an integral part of the Lower School curriculum. We teach the Valley Core Values—Cultivating Wellness, Seeking Wisdom, Embracing Integrity, and Building Community—explicitly and in meaningful age-appropriate ways. Our Lower School students gather weekly for Parliament (a group of owls), to explore the meaning of the Valley Core Values; and through stories, role-play, games, and team-building activities, they practice embodying these characteristics. Students have numerous daily opportunities to gather and socialize with peers in other Lower School grades. Eating lunch family-style, with mixed grades at each table, encourages students to bond with others outside their classroom, and gives older students the opportunity to mentor younger ones.
In Lower School, our emphasis on effort and a commitment to learning fosters resilience in children as they learn to embrace mistakes as opportunities for growth.