FASNY’s Lower School is home to students in Grades 1 to 5. Academics at the Lower School are rigorous and ambitious. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking at all levels, and curriculum combines both the French and American educational systems. The School offers a complete immersion program in both languages, and classes are taught in either French or English according to the subject material.
The Lower School provides a sound foundation in spoken, written, and oral expression. Our students quickly learn that English and French curricula overlap, just as subjects are linked. They learn that knowledge is a whole, and consequently they become more open-minded and adventurous in their approach to learning.
Each class has scheduled computer periods in both French and English. Students learn word processing, practice material studied in class, and do special projects. A computer period in English is added in Grades 4 and 5, during which students develop skills in keyboarding, using spreadsheets, and conducting Internet-based research. Each classroom is equipped with at least two computers in Grades 1 to 3 and four desktops in the fourth and fifth grades.
The performing and visual arts are an integral part of FASNY students’ enrichment. Music classes are offered during classroom time, and chorus and theater are offered as extracurricular activities. The music curriculum consists of ear training, sight singing, theory, music history, and music appreciation. As many as 30 students participate in chorus performing for senior citizen groups, at holiday concerts, and culminating the school year with a recital. A musical is performed each year as a part of after-school Theater Club. In recent years, the Lower School has performed Schoolhouse Rock, Honk, Les Fables de LaFontaine, and Annie.
In the visual arts, we encourage the younger students to be creative and to take chances. We teach them about how to look at art and how to critique it. Major artists are introduced at this level. Older Lower School students join in cross-curricular projects, such as art and English where students use graphic design to produce a cereal box and writing and language to market their product. Students begin to recognize their own style as it emerges.
The Lower School physical education program follows those required of most American schools, emphasizing such sports as soccer, baseball, and basketball.