The A. Fantis Primary School, from kindergarten through fourth grades, is vibrant and joyful. While laughter and giggles are often heard, entry from early childhood marks the transition from a play-based educational experience to a more structured learning environment. Primary School also brings a major transition in cognitive development, as students begin to utilize logical reasoning and become more aware of themselves and, importantly, how others think and feel. Primary School presents a stimulating and challenging—yet nurturing—environment that embraces family, community and faith.
Small classroom size ensures that teachers know each child as an individual. Fantis faculty are specialists in developing their students’ academic needs, while also supporting their social and emotional growth. Community is built daily with morning circle, where each classroom starts the day getting to know each other better, discussing classroom life, and learning social skills that will help them be successful. Students academic needs are nurtured through a carefully planned curriculum, which is enhanced through the use of more sophisticated group work. They are able to grow socially and physically with free play scheduled three times daily and physical education added three times per week.
Faculty provide thoughtful attention to each child’s academic progress, and build classroom communities in which children feel comfortable taking risks, and in which all voices are heard and respected. Primary School Faculty meet frequently to monitor student growth, plan the curriculum, and share ideas and best practices. Careful planning and thorough preparation are needed to create a learning environment that is interconnected and inquiry based. Classrooms are a unique blend of tradition and innovation. Classical Greek Paideia, consisting chiefly of students actively engaged with teachers serving as instructional coach, with time also set for direct instruction and Socratic dialogue. This is enhanced with sophisticated use of technology and inquiry based learning methods.
Working with the students and parents of the primary school is gratifying because of the opportunity to take part in our students’ physical, emotional, academic, and spiritual growth. From the annual Science Fair and International Day to smaller author’s celebrations, students progress is celebrated and showcased for students and families regularly. Primary School students find their passions and develop their interests and strengths, maintaining the early sense of wonder and excitement as they become independent thinkers and competent decision makers. This ensures they are able to make a successful transition to middle school.