Secondary School Preparation
CDS students enter their upper elementary years with a strong foundation in mathematics, language, social studies and science. They have questioning minds, imagination, and boundless energy for research and exploration. Chesterfield Day School focuses this energy and curiosity by offering a 4-5-6 curriculum that is engaging and academically challenging.
Vital to the success of this preparation are teachers who are subject specialists in the 4-5-6 grades. Having a dedicated teacher for language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies allows for increased focus on the subject matter and unparalleled secondary school preparation in an elementary school environment that provides a supportive learning environment. The 4-5-6 grades continue to build upon the skills the children have developed throughout the CDS program, including logical thinking, innovative problem-solving, communication and comprehension skills, study skills including planning and time management related a student’s increasing responsibilities. Test-taking, note-taking, and time management skills are enhanced as the individual responsibility of each student increases. We support and encourage students as they learn to master this additional responsibility by continuing strong home-school communications and working as a caring team so that they become independent thinkers and learners.
Key subject areas include:
Language Arts in the upper elementary incorporates skilled literary and writing instruction that builds and enhances language. Through structured lessons and language experiences throughout other areas of the curriculum, students learn elements of the writer's craft through expository writing, journal writing, report writing and the study of grammar, spelling and composition. Students are encouraged to read about subjects which interest them along with their personalized directed reading from the faculty. Students also read specific works as a class and dialog on the themes and concepts of the piece. The language arts program provides opportunities for the development of all aspects of communication: thinking, listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Chesterfield Day School uses a highly personalized Singapore Math curriculum in our upper grades and it builds upon the strong foundation provided by the CDS Montessori math program. Singapore Math is introduced in the 2-3 math program alongside the Montessori math program as a bridge to our challenging and engaging 4-5-6 Singapore Math program. Math instructors at CDS at every level present children with specific goals for performance and achievement, but through individualized and small-group lessons they are able to progress at their own pace. Cooperative and independent problem solving and critical thinking activities are incorporated throughout the math curriculum in every grade.
The Singapore Math curriculum focuses on model drawing and problem solving and provides students with clear and concise explanations of abstract math concepts. Singapore Math uses pictorial models to represent the known and unknown quantities and their relationships in a problem. Through this approach students gain better understanding of the problem and hone their critical thinking and problem solving skills. The Singapore Math curriculum is a tested, proven and successful curriculum that has been used by advanced schools worldwide. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, a study conducted by the International Association for Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) has continually recognized Singapore Math as a top-scoring curriculum program for math excellence.
Chesterfield Day School’s science program is founded upon the idea that children possess an innate desire to explore. This is the starting point for every experiment and inquiry. As students experience the world, the science faculty challenges them to make hypotheses about their observations and apply the scientific method to reveal the rules by which the world operates. Their questions, observations, and experiments equip them to use science to make sense of the world. They learn that observation, coupled with creativity and discipline can lead to innovation. A failed experiment can contain as many clues as a successful one and our students learn to approach complex problems in a variety of ways and work toward solutions individually and collaboratively. A fully functional science laboratory that was installed in the summer of 2012 enhances the curriculum.
The social studies curriculum focuses on the study of economics, history, political and physical geography, world cultures, social and political systems, and understanding of civic values. In social studies students develop skills and acquire information for productive problem solving. They also learn to assess issues and make thoughtful value judgments. A primary goal of the curriculum is to help students integrate skills and knowledge into a framework for participating as responsible citizens in a broader world.
To provide a rich and well-rounded educational experience, CDS students also attend specialist classes, including art, library, music, physical education and Spanish. The variety of specialist classes increases as children move from toddler, through preschool and into K-1 and beyond.