Lower School

Nurturing Life Long Learners

From the time they start their day shaking hands with a teacher or administrator, until the dismissal bell rings, children are actively ENGAGED in learning.


The core curriculum includes language arts, math, science, social studies, writing, Spanish, art, music, library, technology, and physical education. Teachers celebrate student successes, support their struggles, and encourage the development of everyone’s personal best. Classes are small, fun, and creative.

Lower School students have many opportunities for hands-on exploration and experiences. They learn through play in the classroom, on the playground, in the gym, and on field trips. Students are encouraged to work cooperatively in groups, as well as become independent learners. They are continually encouraged to examine and think critically about the world around them every day.

List of 6 items.

  • Kindergarten

    Kindergarten children have many opportunities to explore, discover, and play. They learn language arts, math, science, social studies, art, music, and Spanish through hands-on activities, group instruction, and individual teacher support.

    Children arrive at various stages of academic readiness, but with patience and time, they all
    experience the joy of reading, writing, and creating. Some children jump into academics with ease, while others need the extra time and attention that experienced teachers and small classes can provide. Likewise, children come with different levels of physical, social, and emotional maturity. During the year, they learn to negotiate, compromise, and empathize through example and role-playing activities.
  • First Grade

    In First Grade, students develop social and academic skills while growing in confidence and independence. Children at this age learn best through discovery and active involvement with people and materials. Time spent in small group and individual reading, writing, and math instruction is balanced with more noisy work of collaboration and problem solving. 

    Throughout the year, social studies, science, language arts, math, Spanish and studio art classes are linked to the broad theme of Mexico, including its geography, history, and culture. This year-long cross-curricular study is celebrated with a Cinco de Mayo festival that showcases individual and collaborative research, writing, and artwork.
  • Second Grade

    In our Second Grade classes, the children think creatively about the world around them and are given many opportunities to explore, discover, question, interact, and learn. We reinforce reading, writing, and math skills learned in first grade, while extending and enriching this knowledge through second grade concepts.

    Throughout the year, students are taught necessary social skills as they learn to negotiate,
    compromise, and empathize with their peers, practicing different ways to navigate social situations with confidence, compassion, and fairness.
  • Third Grade

    Exploration is more than just a theme that runs throughout the Third Grade curriculum. It is the essence of what it means to be a third grader at Barnesville.

    Third graders are busy exploring their world through many fun and exciting activities and special days that challenge them to develop and apply new ideas. It’s a supportive and nurturing environment that strengthens the development of active, confident, independent, and responsible learners.

    One day a week, rain or shine and in the snow, third graders head to a special place on campus we call "Explorer Woods" for unstructured, student-driven imaginative play and exploration.
  • Fourth Grade

    Fourth Grade is the time for students to become more independent workers, critical thinkers, and risk-takers. The journey begins with adult guidance in the beginning of the year and ends in June with self-confident, curious students guiding their own destiny. Maintaining social friendships is an area that challenges students at this stage of growth as the children try to be unique and mature. 

    Our main focus throughout the year is a cross-curricular study of the United States. Beyond the class-wide lessons, each student is responsible for a long-term research project about a state of their choice. Students use class time for independent research on their state’s history, economy, geography, climate, government, and culture. Students then curate several months of work into trifold and table-top displays and serve as tour guides at the annual State Fair.
  • P.E.

    Kindergarten students meet for P.E. three times a week for 30 minutes and students in grades one through four participate in P.E. two times per week for 45 minutes. Regular physical exercise is provided to strengthen growing bodies and encourage sportsmanship. Every day provides ample time for free play and recess.

Barnesville School

21830 Peach Tree Road
PO Box 404
Barnesville, MD 20838
p: 301.972.0341