A CHILD-CENTERED APPROACH TO EDUCATION
Consistent with the school’s philosophy, the Lower School program, Grades 1-4, remains child-centered. The curriculum is dynamic and challenging and allows for a wide range of learning styles. Our faculty view children as individuals who have unique and different approaches to learning and as such our faculty personalize the curriculum to meet the needs of our students. Language arts, math, science and social studies take on very practical, everyday applications and connections. Art, art appreciation, music, physical education, world languages, library and integrated computer instruction further enrich the program, providing a well-rounded elementary educational experience. All elementary school students also study in our Outdoor Classroom and Makerspace Design Lab as part of our comprehensive S.T.E.A.M. curriculum.
All Lower School students participate in the Hour of Code. This program allows students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills through self-paced computer programming tasks.
Lower School students assume responsibilities that are unique and meaningful to each grade. Some of these include raising the flag, overseeing Hilltop’s composting initiatives, helping to keep a clean and orderly dining experience for all and the responsibilities of daily attendance.
Hilltop generally hosts two large-scale performances each year. In the Lower School, the winter concert is primarily organized by the Music Department with help and support from the homeroom teachers. The spring performances are typically dramatic in nature and are coordinated mainly by the homeroom teachers.
Hilltop’s elementary school students enjoy a blended learning environment where technology is used to enhance the curriculum, but interpersonal skills such as good communication, public speaking, problem solving, and collaboration are still valued. Our classrooms utilize SmartBoards, iPads and Chromebooks. Hilltop’s elementary school offers a 1:1 Chromebook program where each student had a Chromebook to use while at school. Students also utilize our Makerspace Design Lab which features a 3D printer, sewing machine, Dash Dot Robots, and Lego WeDo Education robotics kits.