Lower School Curriculum

Canterbury School of Florida teachers strive to provide each student with a challenging and unique curriculum designed to fit his/her learning style. Our faculty take advantage of your child's natural curiosity and sense of adventure outside the classroom by working in our marsh grass nursery, taking field trips to local theaters and animal rescues, and visiting the Cousteau Center for Marine Studies on our Middle/Upper School campus just two miles away in St. Petersburg, Florida.

We introduce advanced elementary school academics early on, as Kindergarten introduces first grade material in their second semester and first grade introduces second grade material in their second semester and so on.

Each grade level in the Lower School includes two teachers who provide an inquiry-based curriculum, in addition to a strong language arts and math program. The liberal arts curriculum also includes classes in the arts, science/marine science, applied technology, world languages (Chinese and Spanish), information literacy, and physical education, all taught by specialists. Guest speakers, visiting performers and artists, and curriculum-related field trips help expand our students' knowledge and help them grow in awareness, expression, and a lifelong love of learning.

Prekindergarten (PK3 and PK4)

Overview


The pre-kindergarten years are an integral step in the Canterbury School of Florida learning process. The goal is to assist pre-kindergarten students in becoming more independent, self-directed and adept at problem solving, while gaining the readiness skills necessary for the formal learning of later years.

Differentiated instruction is applied, allowing for individual guidance and collaborative experiences that support each child’s learning profile and cognitive stage of development. The pre-kindergarten teachers focus on creating curriculum that balances teacher-directed activities in small and large groups, with time for independent choices and free discovery of activities and materials. Activities are presented through a multi-sensory approach.

Students are supported as they learn to understand and express their feelings, thoughts, and actions while navigating through peer interactions. Opportunities are provided daily for the modeling of taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Laying the foundation of character development as a member of the Canterbury family is a focal point in pre-kindergarten classes. Students learn the key components of social and emotional development when they learn the Honor Code, which is sung at the beginning of each school day and includes words like personal integrity, equality, respect, and consideration.

Language Arts

Children learn to speak clearly in full sentences, use proper syntax, develop sequential storytelling skills, and the ability to follow multi-step directions. The pre-kindergarten language arts curriculum focuses on the identification of upper and lower case letters, and their corresponding sounds. Children also develop an understanding of rhyming, opposites, analogies, synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms.

PK4 uses the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, which develops fine motor skills in developmental increments. Letters are introduced and practiced according to what is developmentally appropriate.

Math

The foundation of the pre-kindergarten math program is based on the Eureka Math program. Through a defined scope and sequence, conceptual understanding through a repetition of core concepts is emphasized assuring mastery of each skill. Concepts and skills are presented through collaborative learning in partner, small group, and independent activities that incorporate hands-on manipulatives.

Instruction is differentiated to meet the individual needs of every child through beginning, building, and expanding lessons. Moving from concrete to abstract thinking skills, the pre-kindergarten math curriculum establishes the basis for further learning.

Science / Marine Science

The Lower School STEAM lab and all-school Cousteau Center for Marine Studies on the Knowlton Campus are truly places where each child’s inquisitive spirit develops and is able to soar. The students are immersed in hands-on experiences, enabling them to explore a variety of scientific concepts. These experiences strategically build from year to year and children work as scientists by inferring, predicting, observing, classifying, and recording data collected through their investigations. Students are scheduled for the STEAM lab once a week.

As part of the weekly curriculum-based labs, LEGO Education/Engineering is presented twice a year. The engineering facet begins in PK3 and the program continues to robotics in third and fourth grades.

  • PK3 - Early Simple Machines: surface area, speed and gears.
  • PK4 - Early Simple Machines: balance, weight, wind power, area.

Marine environmental awareness is built into the curriculum as students visit the Cousteau Center for Marine Studies (CCMS) on the upper campus once a semester. The students go to the CCMS Lab where the lessons are led by the Director of Marine Studies, upper school students and the Hough Science Specialist. HMS (Hough Marine Studies) Adventure is a yearlong program taught by the Science Specialist. Pre-kindergarten units of study include:

  • Cousteau Center for Marine Studies:
    • PK3 - Jellies and Under the Sea
    • PK4 - One Ocean and Manatees
  • Hough Marine Studies:
    • PK3 - Ocean Animals I
    • PK4 - Ocean Animals II

Social Science

The term “community” is incorporated into each thematic unit of study. Beginning with their classroom, children are exposed to differences and similarities amongst themselves and what it means to be a part of the classroom community and later, the larger school community.

Through discovery play and role-play children communicate, collaborate, problem solve, and act out what they have learned. Literature is a key component of the pre-kindergarten social science curriculum. Carefully chosen books provide the children with an exposure to different cultures and points of view broadening their awareness of themselves and the world at large.

Kindergarten

Overview


The kindergarten program is composed of age-appropriate curriculum in the areas of language arts, math, social science, and science. Throughout the day, the children are engaged in stimulating hands-on activities used to help them grasp important concepts, build skills, and make connections between the content and their daily lives.

Language Arts

The kindergarten language arts program consists of three components: the “Wonders” reading series, Handwriting Without Tears, and Writers Workshop. Through an integrated approach, phonetic-based lessons support each child in their quest to confidently and consistently identify letters and sound/ symbol relationships, as well as to practice blending sounds together to form words. Students are also exposed to sight word reading and authentic literacy experiences like poetry, rhymes, word lists, syllabication, and vowel differentiation.

Recognizing that every student demonstrates a different level of reading readiness, the kindergarten team incorporates a self-paced opportunity to learn sight words. Sight words are still taught and reviewed in the classroom, however for students ready for more challenge, lists are sent home for them to study. When a student is ready and demonstrates fluency in that list, the next level list is distributed. Through this scaffolding and differentiation, each child is supported and challenged simultaneously.

During Writer’s Workshop the children start with oral and pictorial storytelling, and eventually learn to tell stories and explore writing techniques using proper sentence structure.

Handwriting Without Tears is a program that makes writing a natural and automatic skill as a result of thoughtful attention and instruction.

In addition to practicing the formation of letters and pencil grasp, our kindergarten classrooms emphasize fine motor development as a method to enhance writing without the constant “drill and repeat” formality. Through creative and fun “finger gym” daily work, children exercise and strengthen their dexterity, further developing their fine motor skills.

Math

Kindergarten uses Eureka Mathematics which is based on connecting math to the real world by developing student’s math confidence and lesson comprehension. Mastery of mathematical concepts and skills comes with repeated exposure and practice. Concepts such as understanding “hidden partners” of numbers, counting, skip counting, recording temperatures, patterning, and graphing data provide beginning mathematical foundations and continue throughout the year.

Technology is used as a tool to deliver the math curriculum everyday. Digital tools and resources allow the teachers the opportunity to provide interactive experiences through Promethean board based lessons. In addition, as appropriate, apps and software for math support are used in class, via iPads, as well as at home as needed.

Mathematical manipulatives allow students to shift from concrete to abstract thinking, as the students developmentally mature. Daily classwork offers students the opportunity to further develop or reinforce mathematical themes.

Kindergarteners also participate in small group, hands-on math activities that are developmentally appropriate and based on their skill level through weekly Math Club meetings.

Science / Marine Science

Students participate in weekly (at minimum) science lessons in the classroom and in the STEAM lab. Students are scheduled for the STEAM lab once a week. In addition, grade-level, in-class, demonstrations are held to further capitalize on a specific topic or theme. As needed, the STEAM Garden is used to support the curriculum. LEGO Education/ Engineering is presented twice a year. Topics include: early simple machines: forces, movement, push, pull, wheel and axle. This program continues into robotics in third and fourth grades. In the classroom, science units include animals and habitats, looking at the Earth and sky, five senses, dental health, and plant life cycles to name a few.

Marine Science and environmental awareness is built into the curriculum as students visit the Cousteau Center for Marine Studies (CCMS) on the upper campus once a semester. The students go to the CCMS Lab where the lessons are led by the Director of Marine Studies, upper school students and the Hough Science Specialist. HMS (Hough Marine Studies) Adventure is a yearlong program taught by the Science Specialist. The Kindergarten units of study include:

  • Cousteau Center for Marine Studies: Ocean Habitats, Bioluminescence
  • HMS (Hough Marine Studies): Sandy Beach

Indirectly, kindergarten students become more aware of marine life/environment as they inquire about the seagrass growing in the seagrass nursery on the playground. Through casual observation and direct small group or individual conversations, students learn about marine life, vegetation, and the connection between actions and results.

Social Science

The study of social science and community encompasses a broad network in kindergarten: student’s family, the classroom, school and town communities, and the student’s role in each. Special attention is also given to the topic of “community leaders”, inviting parents and other special guests to talk with the class about their role in the community. Through a variety of interdisciplinary learning opportunities, students develop their understanding of positive relationships, character values, and the importance of being a responsible, active member of their community. The program’s activities include the use of relevant literature, games, projects, maps, globes, technology, crafts, and community resources. A community service component is also included in the curriculum, providing students with the opportunity to give back to the communities of which they are a part.

In addition to studying how they, as individuals, fit into the local or immediate community, the kindergarten team takes the children on an international tour, exposing them to various cultures throughout the world through monthly, country-specific examinations. The kindergarten curriculum includes International Studies as part of the regular academic work. Understanding other cultures and customs is a significant step in understanding one’s own role as a citizen of each and every community of which they are a part.

Another component to the kindergarten curriculum of building community and social awareness is seen in the distribution of Honor Code Keys. Introducing the students to these seven esteemed character traits and helping them understand that who they are and how they behave/act plays a role in the greater community, of which we are all a part.

Connecting students to the school’s Honor Code is an important way to align the student with the school and the mission. The Honor Code is highlighted as part of the social science and LEADS (character education) programs. When a student has demonstrated consistent behavior showcasing a trait named in the school Honor Code (integrity, equality, respectful, considerate, honest, sincere, positive attitude), he/she is recognized and announced at the school-wide morning gathering. In addition to learning above-grade-level vocabulary, students learn valuable characteristics/social skills that will benefit them in interpersonal interactions all throughout life.

Grade 1

Overview

Grade 1 students have many exciting events throughout the year that enhance the curriculum, such as the annual Animal Fair, the international studies “Trip Around the World,” and the day they become astronauts and attend “Space School,” just to name a few.



Language Arts

Grade 1 students extend their knowledge of language arts in significant and exciting ways. They learn skills that enable them to read fluently and with meaning, comprehend what is read, appreciate different genres, and gain confidence.

Building and applying phonics skills helps establish fluency, while using a variety of reading strategies to assist in decoding unfamiliar words. Students will also learn the proper use of punctuation and how to read with expression. Important skills such as predicting, retelling, inferring, and summarizing are stressed. It is standard that reading and writing are intertwined in the language arts curriculum at Canterbury. Using great literature is always a fun way to jump start their writing experiences. Learning the different traits that authors use and implementing them is a large part of the Grade 1 language arts curriculum.

Incorporating technology is a day-to-day experience where students work together and individually according to student needs. Each student is assigned a personal iPad to use for school work and curriculum access.

Math

Grade 1 uses the Eureka Math program which is based on the idea that children build understanding and develop skills as a result of many meaningful and connected learning experiences. Students develop and solidify important concepts such as numeracy and place value, visual/number patterns and counting, measurement and basic facts, money and fractions, and the ability to complete math tasks mentally. iPad and iTouch apps for math are used in class and at home. Math manipulatives allow students to go from concrete to abstract thinking.

Science / Marine Science

The Lower School STEAM lab and all-school Cousteau Center for Marine Studies on the Knowlton Campus are truly places where each child’s inquisitive spirit develops and is able to soar. The students are immersed in hands-on experiences, enabling them to explore a variety of scientific concepts. These experiences strategically build from year to year and children work as scientists by inferring, predicting, observing, classifying, and recording data collected through their investigations.

Students are scheduled for the science lab once a week. As part of the weekly curriculum-based labs, LEGO Education/ Engineering is presented twice a year. Topics include: simple machines: gears, rotation, wheel and axle. This program continues to robotics in third and fourth grades. Through Makerspace innovation the first grade students create a 3-dimensional body representing the major systems, a team building project when learning about plants and create a space suit and safe habitat during the study of space. Spending a day in the “Command Center” as junior astronauts culminates the space study.

Marine environmental awareness is built into the curriculum as students visit the Cousteau Center for Marine Studies (CCMS) on the upper campus once a semester. The students go to the CCMS Lab where the lessons are led by the Director of Marine Studies, upper school students and the Hough Science Specialist. HMS (Hough Marine Studies) Adventure is a yearlong program taught by the Science Specialist. Grade 1 units of study include:

  • Cousteau Center for Marine Studies: Corals and algae
  • Hough Marine Studies: Ocean in Motion

Social Science

The world to a first grader can be as small as the city they live in or as broad as an entire continent. Learning to appreciate different people and cultures is an important concept to understand and experience. Traveling through their imagination, books and the internet allow Grade 1 students the experiences to explore the world of social science in fun and exciting ways. An animal unit culminates with a school-wide Animal Fair which showcases projects, knowledge and excitement for learning about the animals living on the seven continents.

Grade 2

Language Arts

The language arts curriculum in Grade 2 has three components: Word Study, Reading, and Writing. Word study is a practical, hands-on way to study phonics and spelling. Activities focus students’ attention on critical features of word-sounds, patterns, and meaning. The reading curriculum includes a focus on developing fluency, comprehension strategies, and expanding vocabulary. Occasional novel studies integrate cross-curricular studies. Genre writing instruction includes lessons on writing traits such as ideas, organization, word choice, conventions, sentence fluency, and voice.

Math

Grade 2 uses Eureka Math which concentrates on teaching a more focused set of major math concepts and skills. This program allows students time to master key math concepts and skills in a more organized way throughout the year and from one grade to the next. It calls for teachers to use rich and challenging math content and to engage students in solving real-world problems in order to inspire greater interest in mathematics. In Grade 2, students will extend their understanding of place value to the hundreds place. They will use this place value understanding to solve word problems, including those involving length and other units of measure. Students will continue to work on their addition and subtraction skills, quickly and accurately adding and subtracting numbers up through 20 and also working with numbers up through 100. They will also build a foundation for understanding fractions by working with shapes and geometry.

Science / Marine Science

Grade 2 studies Science through various “mysteries” using the Mystery Science curriculum. Students start out the year with Plant Adventures studying plant adaptations. From there students move on to studying Animal Adventures focusing on animal biodiversity. Through the mystery of Material Magic, they study the properties and phases of matter. Students end the year by studying the mystery Work of Water, which focuses on erosion and the earth’s surface.

The Lower School STEAM lab and all-school Cousteau Center for Marine Studies on the Knowlton Campus are truly places where each child’s inquisitive spirit develops and is able to soar. The students are immersed in hands-on experiences, enabling them to explore a variety of scientific concepts. These experiences strategically build from year to year and children work as scientists by inferring, predicting, observing, classifying, and recording data collected through their investigations.

Students are scheduled for the STEAM lab once a week. As part of the weekly curriculum-based labs, LEGO Education/ Engineering is presented twice a year. Topics include: Simple Machines: pulleys and levers. Students design and build a Rube Goldberg machine as culminating project.

Marine environmental awareness is built into the curriculum as students visit the Cousteau Center for Marine Studies (CCMS) on the upper campus once a semester. The students go to the CCMS Lab where the lessons are led by the Director of Marine Studies, upper school students and the Hough Science Specialist. Students participate in Science Beach Day at Fort DeSoto and are immersed in marine studies activities such as fish dissection, animal collection, plant studies, water quality testing, and shell identification. HMS (Hough Marine Studies) Adventure is a yearlong program taught by the Science Specialist. Grade 2 units of study include:

  • Cousteau Center for Marine Studies: Sustainable fishing, estuaries
  • Hough Marine Studies: Wetlands

Social Science

The second grade social science curriculum incorporates the idea of community within the units of study. The students begin the year by studying maps and globes to learn about our world. Students use compasses to navigate the school campus and search for pirate treasure. Following this unit the students learn the traditional historical facts about Native Americans and the original communities of our country.

In the Spring, students study the life and times of a child in the 1800’s. The culmination of this unit is a trip to Cracker Country in authentic costumes. The students sit in a real schoolhouse and participate in hands-on activities like butter churning and gardening. The last unit of the year explores the structure and government of their city. This unit includes a trip to the mayor’s office and City Hall.

Grade 3

Language Arts

In Grade 3, language arts becomes more departmentalized; grammar, reading, writing, spelling, cursive, and vocabulary are taught independently and cross-curricularly. Students read novels to learn about different genres and comprehension strategies: visualizing, connecting, finding the main idea, character analysis, determining cause and effect, comparing and contrasting, determining fact vs. opinion, making predictions and inferencing, summarizing or retelling, and sequencing events. In the fall, students read the annual Global Read-Aloud involving 60 countries and over 1 million children. Students connect with another school in the United States or another country to discuss the book and complete activities using technology.

Students also participate in a 30 Book Challenge. The goals of the Book Challenge are to get students to explore new reading genres that might be out of their comfort zone, to increase their love of reading, and to make academic gains in reading.

The Grade 3 spelling program, Words Their Way, offers skill-based spelling lists so children are placed in teams based on their individual skill. SpellingCity.com is also used to reinforce what is learned in class. Sadlier Oxford Vocabulary offers readily used third grade words to increase students’ reading comprehension. Games and activities are also used to reinforce words and learn study strategies.

In writing, students learn to identify sentences and turn fragments into whole sentences. They begin to regularly construct complete paragraphs with topic, detail, and concluding sentences, and work to properly punctuate different sentence types and learn about the different parts of speech to create vivid, descriptive writing. Students will write a 5 paragraph personal narrative which will include setting goals, writing leads, using dialogue, transitions, and details, editing and publishing. Students’ reading comprehension is evaluated through examples in their writing: retelling, sequencing, comparing, and contrasting.

Math

Grade 3 uses Eureka Math curriculum which includes lessons on multiplication and division, the commutative and distributive properties, addition and subtraction of whole numbers with regrouping (fact families/fact triangles), rounding to the nearest 10 and 100 using vertical number lines, place value, calculating elapsed time, use of a number grid, estimation, graphing, problem solving, measurement, fractions, and geometry. Emphasis is placed on developing real world problem solving strategies and developing conceptual understanding. Students will also continue to increase their knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division math facts.

Science / Marine Science

The Grade 3 science curriculum includes the study of weather, forces and interactions, plant adaptations and heredity. Students will also learn about the Scientific Method through hands on experiments and activities.

The Lower School STEAM lab and all-school Cousteau Center for Marine Studies on the Knowlton Campus are truly places where each child’s inquisitive spirit develops and is able to soar. The students are immersed in hands-on experiences, enabling them to explore a variety of scientific concepts. These experiences strategically build from year to year and children work as scientists by inferring, predicting, observing, classifying, and recording data collected through their investigations. Students are scheduled for the science lab once a week. As part of the weekly curriculum-based labs, LEGO Education/ Engineering is presented twice a year focusing on lego robotics and programming.

Marine environmental awareness is built into the curriculum as students visit the Cousteau Center for Marine Studies (CCMS) on the upper campus once a semester. The students go to the CCMS Lab where the lessons are led by the Director of Marine Studies, upper school students and the Hough Science Specialist. HMS (Hough Marine Studies) Adventure is a year long program taught by the Science Specialist.

Grade 3 units of study include:

  • Cousteau Center for Marine Studies: Sediments, trip to the Florida Aquarium
  • Hough Marine Studies: Gulf of Mexico

Social Science

Grade 3 social science curriculum is designed to help students develop a broad perspective on our society based on the continuous development of geographic concepts and discussions of current events. Students begin the year learning the foundations of government, law and the American political system. This includes the purpose and need for a government by the people and how our government was established through a written Constitution. Students then learn about the structures of our government, identifying the three branches and their functions. Students participate in a classroom election and write a bill that will be signed into law. Students also learn about economics including money, goods and services, producers and consumers, supply and demand and wants vs. needs. Students will have the opportunity to create their own business, produce their own product, and sell it to other grade levels in the school. They will learn valuable lessons about budgeting, expenses, profit, and customer service. The second half of the year involves the United States’ regions, states, capitals, and landforms. The States research project encompasses cross-curricular subjects like science, technology, writing, public speaking, and history.

Grade 4

Language Arts

Grade 4 builds a strong foundation in the literacy skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Promoting the love of reading and the confidence to become writers is paramount to Canterbury’s beliefs.

In the Grade 4 reading program, students read books both on their own and as a whole class, then discuss literature regarding all reading skills including main idea, inferencing, and summarizing.

In writing, students learn multiple types of writing including informational, narrative, opinion, and poetry. Our balanced literacy program includes instruction in mini lessons followed by time to practice, conference with teachers and peers, and reflect and edit work. Students become proficient readers and expert writers by reading and writing often. All aspects of reading and writing are taught both individually and as a whole group so students learn to work cooperatively with partners and teams.

Math

The overall philosophy of our Grade 4 math program is for children to appreciate math, build confidence, and see the relevance of math in everyday life. Math provides experiences to explore, learn and practice mathematics in a range of settings, including whole class, small groups, partners, and individually.

Our program is cyclic so children are given multiple exposures to math concepts before mastery is expected. Through interactive games, open-ended questions, and real world problems, students learn the processes involved in solving mathematical problems with creativity, flexibility, and determination. Class discussions and written reflections in mathematics are encouraged because this is when students clarify and solidify their learning. By the end of Grade 4, students are proficient with multi-digit multiplication, long division, and fractions.

Science / Marine Science

The Lower School STEAM lab and all-school Cousteau Center for Marine Studies on the Knowlton Campus are truly places where each child’s inquisitive spirit develops and is able to soar. The students are immersed in hands-on experiences, enabling them to explore a variety of scientific concepts. These experiences strategically build from year to year and children work as scientists by inferring, predicting, observing, classifying, and recording data collected through their investigations.

Students are scheduled for the science lab once a week. As part of the weekly curriculum-based labs, LEGO Education/ Engineering is presented twice a year. Grade 4 focuses on animal robots with programming variations.

Marine environmental awareness is built into the curriculum as students visit the Cousteau Center for Marine Studies (CCMS) on the upper campus once a semester. The students go to the CCMS Lab where the lessons are led by the Director of Marine Studies, upper school students and the Hough Science Specialist. HMS (Hough Marine Studies) Adventure is a yearlong program taught by the Science Specialist. Grade 4 units of study include:

  • Cousteau Center for Marine Studies: Water collection data, Marine Quest
  • Hough Marine Studies: A marsh grass nursery on the Hough campus is monitored by the fourth grade in partnership with Tampa Bay Watch.

Social Science

The Grade 4 social science curriculum is designed to help students develop a broad perspective on our society based on the historical studies of Florida settlers combined with the continuous development of geographic concepts and discussions of current events. The Florida History unit is completed by a reenactment of the colonization of Florida between the arrival of the Paleo Indians until the Seminole Wars. The students also take a trip to St. Augustine, FL to learn more about the oldest surviving European colony in the United States.



Activity Periods

Grade 4 students have activity periods throughout the school year. These periods provide an activity that is non-competitive, non-threatening, and in which everyone can participate simultaneously. Previous activities have included swimming, bowling, tennis and rock climbing.

Enrichment Classes, All Grades

Overview

The opportunities children have for hands-on learning at Canterbury are unmatched in our community. On average, students spend 420 minutes per week in these enrichment courses offered by specialized instructors. Teachers in these areas are highly talented, motivated, and wonderfully adept at teaching multiple grade levels. It should also be noted that, while not an “enrichment class,” ALL our students enjoy recess daily!

Visual Arts

1-2x/week

Thinking creatively and having artistic perspective drives the experiences of our youngest artists in the studio. The Lower School art curriculum fosters curiosity about materials and the art process. Students are encouraged to develop their own artistic voice.

Students explore the world of fine art, folk art and local art exhibits in order to build a solid foundation in art history and critique. With dynamic compositions, students gain studio experience that is joyful and challenging. They experiment with a variety of expressive media such as paint, ceramics, photography, computer graphics, drawing and 3D design.

In order to cultivate global perspectives, many studio lessons focus on the art of cultures from around the world. Many projects are linked to cultural studies happening that week in the classroom. The artwork gives tangible meaning to newly-learned material. To prepare the next generation of inventors and global leaders, Canterbury strives to instill a love of art and creative thinking that grows throughout their experience at Canterbury.

STEAM Lab

1x/week PK3 - Grade 4

STEAM Concepts (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) are taught by a team of instructors specializing in these concepts who develop hands-on activities using our Makerspace tools and Science Lab resources. Students solve challenges through collaboration, apply the scientific process with experiments, and use augmented reality to enhance the curriculum. It is a time for students to make prototypes, test ideas, explore answers, solve problems, and discover new ways of doing things.

Early childhood students solve build challenges with LEGOs. Primary students work with more advanced LEGO challenges and use stop motion software to create and publish their stories. Grade 3 and 4 students use 3D modeling software to design objects to print on our 3D printer.

Applied Technology & Digital Citizenship

Integrated PK3 - Grade 4

Our Lower School has a dedicated Academic Technology Coordinator with a Master’s degree in Curriculum Development whose job is to help teachers integrate relevant technology tools in the classroom to enhance our students’ learning.

As students progress through the Lower School, the technology curriculum is authentically integrated with classroom curricula in each grade level to deepen learning, broaden experiences, and foster confidence. Students create e-portfolios documenting their technology projects, use apps to practice skills like math and reading, publish their work digitally with movies, documents, and digital books, and use cloud services for document creation and storage. Basic keyboarding familiarization begins in pre-kindergarten and continues through more advanced skills and typing speed in Grades 3 and 4.

Our 1:1 program begins in Grade 1 and continues through Grade 12. Students in all grades have access to tablet devices, computers, and interactive technologies such as Promethean Tables. Teachers are equipped with interactive displays in every classroom and use digital content connected to the curriculum to enhance engagement and reach more learning styles. One to one access allows for integrated technology experiences, no longer requiring one class period for technology instruction, rather technology is aligned with the curriculum and used throughout the day.

Digital citizenship is a focus of our program for all students, and our curriculum governs appropriate use of technology in all aspects of life. Learn more about our Digital Citizenship Program. Learn more about our 1:1 Program.

World Languages

Spanish 2-3/week
PK3 - Grade 4

The learning of languages helps to cultivate a lifelong interest in a variety of cultures and global perspectives. Lower School students learn Spanish.


In Spanish class, early childhood students begin with exposure to the Spanish culture and languages. Older grades build on that foundation as the difficulty and goals of the classes shift towards more academically challenging and immersive coursework. Grade 3 and 4 students prepare for their transition to the Upper Campus by focusing on development with their interpersonal communication and presentational speaking skills.

Character Education

Integrated

Character Education at Canterbury is an integral part of not just what we teach, but who we are and how we seek to build positive relationships and interaction on all levels of the Canterbury family. LEADS is our designation for the character building program which helps to clearly communicate and mold our values throughout all three divisions of our school.

From PreK 3 through Grade 12, Leadership, Ethics, Advocacy, Dignity, and Service are the roadmap which both students and faculty use to navigate good decision making, the building of positive relationships, and caring and compassionate action with everyone.

On the Hough Campus (PreK 3 through Grade 4), the LEADS program is guided by classroom teachers who facilitate values based age-appropriate discussions, model caring and compassionate interaction and implement community service opportunities. Learn more about our Character Education Program.

Words like honesty, integrity, responsibility, compassion, self-discipline, perseverance and confidence are part of our school vernacular. For instance, the PK4 class performed a skit at Flag in front of parents and their peers, to explain the importance of respect. Reese and Riley were Superhero Rs for RESPECT!

Library/Information Literacy

1x/week

As students progress through the Lower School, our information literacy curriculum advances with them. In a lively and inviting environment, Lower School children develop literary appreciation through storytimes and book talks with each other and the librarian, while our Grade 4 students are learning to research, cite and report on information found with our extensive library databases and resources.

All students acquire information literacy skills through hands-on, developmentally appropriate experiences using a variety of media and technology. Learn more about our library.

Music

2x/week

Music classes focus on creativity in self-expression, rhythmic motor-muscular response and basic performance skills. Students delve into music through active listening, singing, moving, playing instruments, and discussion. Music symbols learned as basic music theory is introduced. The Orff approach and Kodaly Method are used extensively in all grade levels. As students advance, they learn to read music, sing independently and as part of the ensemble, and experience a wide variety of music.

As they develop basic music competence, students will also develop the foundation for important life skills while improving language and math comprehension. This process of creating music is the essence of our curriculum and becomes a wonderful performance experience that is shared with the Canterbury community at morning Flag, weekly Chapel, and at larger special holiday assemblies on both campuses.

  • PK3 and PK4 students present holiday performances.
  • Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students perform in a winter musical.
  • Students in Grade 2 sing at local retirement homes.
  • Students in Grades 3 and above may participate in the all-school musical production in the Spring.
  • All Grade 3 and Grade 4 students perform in a musical production each spring at the Dollinger Theater on the Upper Campus.

Physical Education

3x/week

The Lower School physical education program offers outdoor classes which include locomotor movements and spatial awareness. A variety of sports skills and lead up games are taught throughout the school year. A strong emphasis is placed on sportsmanship and integrity, as well as how the children speak to each other and treat each other. Our Health and Wellness Initiative offers multiple opportunities for before and after school through after school enrichment and special events such as “Walk to School Day,” “Healthy Potluck Kickball” and so much more. Also, all students participate in a campus Field Day once a year.

Public Speaking

Lower School students begin performing and speaking publicly in front of peers, parents, and faculty as young as PK4 as each grade performs Character Education skits, sing songs and make announcements during morning Flag ceremony. Speech and Drama prepare students in every grade to participate in at least one production during the year.

International Studies

Every year, each grade level selects a country to study throughout the year. This endeavor culminates with grade-level presentations of song, dance, skits, customs, and language of the country. An International Studies Celebration in the spring, furthers the learning and appreciation of other cultures.

Community Service

While not actually part of the daily curriculum, community service is a vital part of our students’ education. All students engage in two community service projects, chosen by the faculty, each year. Learn more about lower school community service.

ADA Compliance

Canterbury School of Florida is committed to providing students and employees all rights granted in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Act requires that schools make reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities provided there is no undue hardship to the school, no direct threat of harm to the individual or to others, and no fundamental alteration of the school’s program.