Primary Years Programme (JK- Grade 6)

Welcome To The Lower School

Discover a place where a question leads to further inquiry.
Welcome to the Lower School.

Learning in the Lower School is framed around the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) 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 the student’s educational journey. The breadth of experience is achieved through the integrated IB framework. Co-curricular programming, outdoor experiential learning, second language learning, community lunch and engaging with the arts all adds to the student experience.

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

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 sympathetic to the landscape. Forested areas and our pond are used for experiential learning after school, and each spring, you will find our students extended their learning during Outdoor Classroom Day, a time when the entire campus is used.

Specialized Opportunities

Beginning in Junior Kindergarten, our students have the opportunity to learn both French and Mandarin 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. Passionate specialists who bring professional artist experience to the classroom teach music instruction, both vocal and instrumental beginning with our youngest students in Junior Kindergarten. This enriched learning is celebrated through performances at special events, student assemblies and concerts.

Community Is A Cornerstone

Building community is purposeful and part of our programming. Weekly assemblies connect our students to each other while full school events, such as Eaglemania, a house competition, connect them to students in Grades 7-12. 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 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 attitudes they have developed during their learning in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and ultimately demonstrate that they are competent learners and truly internationally-minded global citizens.
    Grade 6 Exhibition inquiries are developed by the students from one of the PYP Transdisciplinary Themes.

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