Swift School Lower Division serves students in grades 1-4 where emphasis is based on building confident, knowledgeable individuals.
Students are encouraged to participate fully, to take risks, to be self-advocates and to create lasting memories. Our enriching, engaging, and challenging curriculum prepares students for success. Students, parents, and teachers work collaboratively and play an important role in helping children reach their greatest potential.
An Immersive Approach
The Lower Division instructional programming was developed with intention and purpose to grow the whole student; that includes academic and social emotional learning. The immersive approach means that the whole school experience is designed so that language skill development is intensive and continuous throughout all subject areas. Current research is utilized to deliver instruction in structured literacy using the Orton-Gillingham Approach, multisensory math, knowledge-based language arts, and investigation-led science and social studies lessons. Each class benefits from two highly qualified teachers who utilize a data driven model to instruct students in both small and large groups in all subject areas. The immersive experience goes beyond remediation to exploratory classes. Programming is designed to provide opportunities to explore a variety of areas such as art, PE, music, drama, and STEAM. Field trips enrich our educational programming by providing additional experiential learning opportunities. Teachers utilize technology throughout their day with the use of iPads, Chromebooks, and smart TVs. Students collaborate, create, and expand their knowledge while learning 21st century skills needed for the future. Swift offers social emotional learning and life skills instruction which further creates a bridge between academic success and social development. Our students learn to be part of a team, cooperate, and navigate the world around them through modeling, play, and guided interaction.
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The Orton-Gillingham Approach is a direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach literacy (ortonacademy.org). Students are engaged in lessons to promote automaticity in phonological awareness and phonics/morphology skills which includes grapheme/ phoneme recognition, syllable types, morphemes, and various spelling rules/generalizations. Reading and spelling skills are practiced within words, phrases, sentences, and decodable stories to develop automaticity. Additionally, students are assigned individual “learned” words cultivated from the most frequently seen words in English. This multifaceted approach allows students to move as fast as they can, but as slow as they must.
In Language Arts, students are immersed in a knowledge-based program that is designed to teach skills within a content driven curriculum. Within this integrated approach, areas of study (modules) include reading (comprehension and fluency), writing (communication of ideas, craft), speaking and listening (active participation and discussion), vocabulary, language skills (style and conventions). Students use a variety of grade level materials, which include core and supplementary texts, informational videos, and visual arts.
The WoodinMath approach is utilized to build foundational skills and conceptual understanding of mathematics. Through multisensory instruction, students progress from concrete, to representational, to abstract application of math concepts. The approach is prescriptive and diagnostic and teaches whole-to-part symbolic strategies that support students with language based learning difficulties. Students work towards mastery of grade level skills, following a sequential framework that develops numeracy, fluency, computation and problem solving competencies.
In the science curriculum, students actively build on knowledge within the disciplines of Life, Physical, and Earth Science. Students apply science and engineering practices through the process of multi-sensory investigations, asking questions, analyzing sources and recording results. Students then generate evidence based conclusions and share their ideas about a specific phenomena.
The social studies curriculum is designed to develop informed global citizens who understand the history and diversity of the United States. Students work to understand the connection between the past and present and its impact on the future. Students engage in historical inquiry and learn to use primary and secondary resources to understand multiple perspectives of events and actions of historical figures.
Strong executive functioning skills support academic success.
Difficulties with these skills such as planning, memory, organizing, flexible thinking, executing etc. impact students at home, school, and life. Students receive instruction and support along with academics to build their skills in executive functioning. Examples include, time management, planning, prioritizing, and organization of materials.