The Lower School consists of Kindergarten through fifth grade. During these years, Gatewood maintains close communication and interaction with parents, an essential factor in the successful progress of a child. At Gatewood, the classrooms are inviting and creative, managed by professionals who know that a positive self-image is the greatest lifelong gift a teacher can bestow. Recognizing that children learn differently, elementary teachers incorporate visual, auditory, and kinesthetic methods of instruction. Along with a developmentally appropriate curriculum, the lower school student’s daily routine includes STEM, Accelerated Reader, art, music, physical education, and computer science.
Teachers provide enrichment for students and individual help is available in every academic area. The Lower School consistently scores well on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills test, but the true measure of success in the Lower School is seen in children confidently moving to and succeeding in the Middle School environment.
The Lower School curriculum is enhanced with bi-weekly chapel services, grade-level performances, and educational field trips. The Kindergarten through 5th-grade classes attend plays and visit museums in Madison, Athens, and Atlanta. Classes will routinely attend field trips and perform plays together.
The highlight of the lower school is the 5th grade trip to Tybee Island, where students participate in an environmental and marine education trip for 3 days. Students are involved in hands-on academic learning experiences dealing with in-depth, investigations of the marine environment of Tybee Island’s beach, dunes, salt marsh, coastal forest and off-shore environments. The Burton Center 4-H Center on Tybee Island program offers another equally important learning experience: social development. It is a group-oriented experience. The students build sand castles together, walk beaches, and play sports between classes. Parent chaperones, teachers, and students alike spend quality time together which makes for a lifetime of memories.
Lower school extracurricular activities at the lower school level include:
4-H Service Club ● Boy Scouts ● Girl Scouts ● Field Trips ● 5th Grade Tybee Island Experience ● Cheer Squads ● Basketball ● Football ● Soccer ● Piano and Guitar Lessons