Lower School


Lower School is a time of joyful learning for our first through third grade students.

From the very first day, they grow by leaps and bounds – intellectually, emotionally, and behaviorally. Children become readers and writers, mathematicians, scientists, and historians through rich, challenging, active learning opportunities. Through personalized, differentiated instruction, teachers engage students by asking questions and pushing them to explore the possibilities.

Creating a safe and welcoming community is an important part of our social and emotional curriculum. Swain teachers use Responsive Classroom techniques throughout the Lower School. Teachers model positive words and productive routines, and redirect misbehavior clearly and proactively.

Children in Lower School develop a strong sense of character by fully participating in morning meetings, constructing class agreements, learning about values, and taking on responsibilities to keep our shared spaces cared for and safe. These experiences help students develop skills to help them collaborate, resolve conflict and care for the world they will one day lead.


All students in Lower School receive weekly instruction in the following core subjects. Aligned with best practice, technology is woven throughout all subjects and students frequent the Makerspace for innovative, project-based learning and the Library for research and book selection.

Mathematics Physical Education Theatre Arts
Language Arts Spanish Music
Social Studies Art Science


Field trips, guest speakers, and experiential learning opportunities enrich instruction at every grade level. Our students travel to a variety of local and regional destinations, including the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary, Moravian College, DaVinci Science Center, Allentown Symphony Hall, and local farms and parks. Visitors also enhance the learning experience. Students have heard from travelers to Haiti and Honduras, enjoyed presentations about world cultures and religions, and tried their hand at sand painting and Chinese writing.


Additional programs offered through Swain Explorations provide opportunities to discover a new passion, or deepen investigation of a familiar area of interest. Dancing, ice skating, cooking, science, archery, basketball, cheerleading, and robotics are just a few of the many choices that may be offered throughout the year.


The Lower School Faculty and accredited specialists are highly qualified professionals, many of whom hold advanced degrees. A full-time School Counselor, Reading Specialist, and Learning Specialist provide assistance for faculty and students, as well. Class sizes range from 10 to 16 students, intentionally limited to maximize the learning potential for students and allow for differentiated instruction.