Primary Years Programme (JK- Grade 6)

Welcome To The Lower School

Discover a place where a question leads to further inquiry.

Learning in the Lower School is designed around the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) curricular framework. For students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6, our classrooms are places where children exercise agency and are active participants in their own learning. Voice, choice and ownership ensures learning is meaningful, engaging, and authentic. Students acquire foundational skills in literacy and numeracy as they inquire into issues of local and global significance. On any given day, you will find happy, curious, engaged students who care about others and the world around them. 
Student learning, fuelled by natural curiosity, is hands-on and programming is personalized to support each student’s educational journey. Students are engaged in a breadth of experience through the transdisciplinary IB framework. Co-curricular programming, outdoor experiential learning, second language learning, and engagement with the arts all add to the student experience.

Ask our youngest students—What did you do today? You are likely to hear things such as “I was a risk-taker”; “I touched a frog”; “I watched a butterfly emerge”; “I learned a new word in French”, “I sang a new song”, “I made a friend”. At SJK, these meaningful experiences are linked to the IB Primary Years Programme transdisciplinary Programme of Inquiry.

The Campus Is Our Playground

Outdoor adventures are an essential part of the experience for students in the Lower School. Our campus includes both a traditional playground and natural play elements connected to the landscape. Forested areas and our pond are used for experiential learning after school, and each day, you will find our students extend their learning during Outdoor Experiential Education, a time when the entire campus is used.
As part of the School’s curriculum, we offer an Outdoor Experiential Education Program for students from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6.  

The program offers supervised, themed, outdoor activities including opportunities for students to plan their own adventure and deepen their curiosity of nature. The program utilizes the School’s expansive campus and connects students to their natural environment. There is no additional fee associated with Outdoor Experiential Education. 

Students will learn about an array of subjects, including plant and animal species that live on our campus, the pond's ecosystem, meteorology, and more! The Outdoor Experiential Education Program engages with the Primary Years Programme curriculum to create outdoor and experiential learning opportunities based on themes and units of inquiry from students' homerooms. As part of this program, students will get comfortable with being outside by becoming more spatially aware and physically literate in the outdoors. 

Specialized Opportunities

Beginning in Junior Kindergarten, our students have the opportunity to learn French from native-speaking teachers as part of their academic week. In addition, we offer Mandarin as part of our co-curricular programming offered each term. Specialists offer vocal and instrumental music instruction to students throughout their years in the PYP, beginning with ORFF in the early years and graduating to instrumental music in Grades 4-6. This enriched learning is celebrated and shared through performances at special events, student assemblies and concerts.

Community Is A Cornerstone

Building community is purposeful and part of our programming. Monthly assemblies connect our students to each other while full school events, such as Eaglemania, a house competition, connect them to students in Grades 7 to 12. It is not uncommon to see our younger students greet our older students with a ‘high-five’ in our hallways or to see them hand-in-hand on the way to lunch. Prepared daily by our own Red Seal-certified chef, and served in our tech-free community dining hall, Founders’ Hall, lunch at SJK is a community activity where connection and relationships are as important as healthy eating. The community extends beyond the classroom through community service initiatives and the global perspective integrated into the IB curriculum and the School’s values.

The Grade 6 PYP Exhibition

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  • A Transdisciplinary Celebration

    The PYP Exhibition is an in-depth inquiry into issues and opportunities of real-world significance and represents the culmination of students’ engagement with the PYP. Throughout the Exhibition process, students collaborate and apply the knowledge, skills, and attributes they have developed during their learning in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and ultimately demonstrate that they are life-long learners and internationally-minded global citizens, ready to embark on their MYP journey.
    Grade 6 Exhibition inquiries are developed by the students from one of the PYP Transdisciplinary Themes.

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