Academics

Lower School Curriculum

In the Lower School, boys are stretched to think, explore, question, work, and play. The beginning elementary years are all about discovery and at Cathedral School for Boys, students learn what it means to be a student, community member, and friend.
 
On any given day in the Lower School, you will see classrooms filled with boys who are actively engaged in all aspects of learning: from good-morning handshakes and partner reading to coding robots and editing peer stories. Lower School at Cathedral School for Boys is about fostering a love of learning and experiencing the joy that comes from engaging with others in discourse, problem-solving, and play. We believe that the Lower School years are a period when children should be maintained and celebrated. We also believe that kindergarten through fourth grade is when foundational academic and social skills should be taught, refined and applied. At the center of all that we do, both instruction and program is a dedication to understanding how boys learn best. Experience and research support our work and drives our innovations.
 
We are committed to helping every individual boy meet his potential, both academically and socially. Being small in size, allows us to do just that. Kindergarten through fourth grade is composed of 24 students and two teachers, and our schedule provides multiple opportunities for small group work. When students attend specialist classes such as art, science, and religion, they do so in mixed groups. This allows classroom teachers to attend to students in a 1:6 ratio. The level of differentiation that happens on a daily basis is meaningful and conducive to engagement and skill acquisition. In addition to the core curriculum of literacy, math, and social studies, boys experience science, religion, art, music, and library.
 
Hallmarks of the Cathedral Experience:
Music/Arts: Every boy in the Lower School engages in the arts, both visual and performing. We believe that there is an artist in every boy and that learning comes from hands-on practice and experience. Kindergartners through fourth graders perform in some capacity every year. In addition, their artwork is consistently exhibited in the hallways and during performances.
 
PE: Boys have PE every day in the Lower School. It is a massive part of their day. Physically, boys learn gross motor skills that ultimately prepare them for Upper School sports. Socially, boys engage in daily team-building practice that promotes honesty, fair play, good sportsmanship, and camaraderie.
 
Chapel: We are in Grace Cathedral three times a week as a community. From singing together to listening to 8th-grade chapel talks, Lower School boys learn about the power that comes from reflection, mindfulness, and community. Lower School chapel is uniquely special. It allows the entire Lower School to gather together once a week and talk about issues relevant to their lives: from being honest during a tag game to not giving up if something is hard.
 
Small Size: With two teachers and 24 boys per classroom, class size is intentionally small. The student-teacher ratio is further reduced when students visit specialist classes in half groups, allowing teachers to work with boys in a 1:6 setting.
 
Big Brother/Little Brother Program: Kindergarten through third-grade boys are paired with an older Big Brother, and throughout the year, these pairings engage in curriculum-related activities, lunches, play, and field trips. As leaders of the Lower School, fourth-graders become big brothers themselves to the kindergartners.
 
Teachers: Our teachers are pillars of the Lower School experience. They are experienced and dedicated professionals who commit themselves to knowing their students, knowing how to educate boys, and progressing their craft through ongoing professional development.

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Cathedral School for Boys


1275 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone 415-771-6600
Fax 415-771-2547
Located in San Francisco, CA, Cathedral School for Boys is an independent elementary school for boys in grades K-8. Our mission is to provide an excellent education through intellectual inquiry and rigor that is centered in the Episcopal tradition and is respectful of and welcoming to people of all religious traditions and beliefs.