Lower School

DISTINCTIVE TALENTS, BOUNDLESS POSSIBILITIES.

"Celebrated painter. Hockey player. Ivy League scholar. It's hard to tell which Evan will become, but it's clear his future is full of boundless possibilities." - Lower School teacher

From the Head of the Lower School


We do so much right as a school at Boys' Latin to ensure our students grow and mature from young children into confident young men. Stellar faculty. Expertise in all-boys education. But what speaks most directly to the "brothers for life" esprit de corps that is so much a part of life at Boys' Latin is our Little Laker Buddies initiative, where each kindergarten and pre-first student is assigned a fifth-grade buddy.

The program itself is simple. Buddies meet every Friday to get to know one another. What takes place as a result is something far more complex and wonderful.

Our fifth-grade boys rise to the occasion of being big brothers, and start showing the leadership that's integral to their future BL experiences as middle and upper schoolers. Teachers see their personal transformations as they take seriously their responsibilities as role models to their little brothers. The younger boys, in turn, learn so much through these friendships, which for many is their first with an older peer.

Through exceptional programs like Little Laker Buddies, Boys' Latin builds in each of our students confidence, leadership and brotherly kindness.

Kathy Arnold, Head of the Lower School

Pedagogy and Curriculum


Boys learn best by doing. Because of this, our pedagogy centers on hands-on experiential learning that appeals to different senses, involves action and movement, and produces tangible outcomes. Which is why in our lower school students raise trout to learn about ecosystems or search for acute and obtuse angles to photograph. And our lower school curriculum is equally thoughtful.

We ensure each student's mastery of foundational concepts in reading, language arts and mathematics by having two subject specialists collaborate with each classroom teacher, allowing for even smaller groups and individualized learning. We expect each student to learn how to read and do math at different times. It's all about knowing each student, advancing quickly with those who are ready while providing reinforcement for others.

Last but never least, character education is interwoven throughout all aspects of our curriculum. Each month students focus on a BL value such as honesty, compassion, or self-discipline. In short, as the program is named, we seek to guide our youngest students to "Live Like a Laker."

Mathematics: In formally introducing the world of mathematics to our students, including arithmetic, geometry and data analysis, we build the foundation for further exploration in science and technology. From the outset, we emphasize problem-solving skills and showing how math is applied, from making change and cooking the perfect dish to gauging the speed of scooters.

Science: Our program includes the life sciences, the study of the physical and natural worlds, and space exploration. Using a direct, hands-on approach to all these sciences, we encourage observation, discovery and analytical thinking.

English/Language Arts: Our language arts program focuses on building confidence and independence in self-expression through reading, writing, and vocabulary. Recognizing students learn these critical basic skills differently, we ensure a multifaceted approach; reading, for instance, is taught through phonetics, word recognition, language experience and context support.

Social Studies: Through social studies, our students learn history and geography. They discuss current events and adopt a global perspective. Most important, they begin to understand the relevance and significance of the past to the present and their future.

Spanish: Through study of cultural events and celebrations throughout the Spanish-speaking world, students begin to amass a Spanish vocabulary and understand how Spanish grammar works. We emphasize communications skills, comprehending and practicing the spoken language, by having lower school students sing, play games, improvise dialogue, and so much more.

Library: With more than 12,000 books and resources in the Lower School Library, our library program encourages a love of reading through exposure to boy-friendly books across an incredibly wide range of topics.

Arts and Music: Our students explore music, media and art from around the world to encourage an appreciation of different cultures and to nurture their own interests and preferences. Families are welcome to take in the culmination of our students' impressive portfolios and advancements at the lower school's annual art and music show.

Physical Education: Daily physical education classes teach our boys the basics of a variety of sports as well as the importance of sportsmanship. Parents are welcome to join in the fun of Dodgeball Friday, a lower school tradition.

Co-Curricular Activities


The lower school at Boys' Latin offers a wide range of clubs to all Lower School students to enrich their educational experiences. Many of our clubs center around teaching boys the art and science of building.

Our LEGO club is a natural precursor to the school's well-known robotics club, which is open to students beginning in the fourth grade. In robotics, students work in pairs and with a faculty mentor to learn NXT programming, which is a prerequisite to designing, constructing and operating robots in the middle school.

If you visit our campus on a Friday club day, you might see the lawns campus transformed with tents and mini-forts and paper airplanes flying overhead. Or an epic battle among bionicle heroes, villains and monsters of all shapes and sizes made from discarded books. And watch out for the boys touring and navigating cross campus on their scooters as they learn how to accurately measure speed.

Lower school students start publishing early in their Boys' Latin careers with contributions of their stories, poems and artwork to our Southside Stories literary magazine. Fifth graders are responsible for The Inkspot, the lower school's newspaper publication.

Recognizing that boys love to perform, there are ample opportunities for them to be in front of an audience. While music is taught throughout the lower school curriculum, instrumental lessons are offered to students. Beginning in the the fourth grade, students can participate in the lower school band. Future Academy Award winners can sign up to join the lower school role play club. Students who see life with a more humorous twist can join our stand-up comedy troupe. Through these clubs, our boys start to get a feel for developing their presentation styles, attending to their audience, and learning about dramatic timing - all while having fun.

Because we see leadership opportunities as an integral part of a strong all-boys education, we open student council positions to those in the third grade and up. Just recently, the lower school student council organized and ran a toy drive for the Gilchrist Center - a local hospice facility. The boys raised funds and collected donations to outfit the center's toy room for visiting children who would visit while a loved one is under care.

The lower school co-curricular activities and programs are:

Band

Bingo

Bionicle Building

Celtic Coloring

Chess

Clay

Comedy Club

Creative Solutions

Cup Stacking

Drama Club

Fort Building

Inkspot Student Newspaper

Laker Buddies

LEGO Club

Lower School Band

Monster Books

Paper Airplanes

Role Play

Robotics

Scooter Club

Southside Stories Literary Magazine

Stand-Up Comedy Troupe

Student Council


Lower School Faculty


Educational Support Services


Students do not learn how to read and write, nor master math concepts, at the same rate and in the same way. To ensure all our students reach their full academic potential, Boys' Latin provides educational support services as needed, including setting up formal education plans.

Our learning specialists - all experts in current pedagogy and boy-learning strategies - work side-by-side with classroom teachers in developing and implementing curriculum and strategies that allow for multiple learning levels and learning styles. They also conduct classroom observations to provide another perspective on students' needs as well as their progress, all focused on teaching to each student's strengths.

For more information, contact Stephanie McKew, the lower school learning specialist: smckew@boyslatinmd.com; 410-377-5192 ext. 1126.

The Boys' Latin School of Maryland is the state's oldest independent, non-sectarian all-boys school. For students in kindergarten through 12th grade, we provide a rigorous, college-preparatory curriculum that focuses on building 21st century skills and empowers each boy to achieve his true excellence.