5th graders act as role models and leaders in the Lower School. Here, a fifth grade reads out loud to his pre-k buddy.
The fifth grade year is a major step in The Haverford School learning process. Our goal is to guide the students in their last year of Lower School so that they become more independent, self-directed learners while gaining the personal organizational skills necessary for success in their Middle School years. Another critical aspect of the fifth grade year is demonstrating responsibilities as leaders of the Lower School. Each boy participates in a study of himself and of those around him to understand the benefits of combining talents to serve the Lower School.
The safety committee, comprised of students in grades 3-5, worked with Dean of Students Mr. Brown and Head of Lower School Dr. Greenblatt to present the Lower School safety plan to their peers.
The Decision Education and Leadership course is unique to fifth grade and incorporates concepts of good decision making and leadership styles. Using the Gallup Strength Explorer survey, students learn about how they are wired and how their talents can result in good quality decisions with good outcomes. Each unit includes basic decision-making vocabulary, with opportunities for boys to explore their own leadership skills. Boys use class time to reflect and write about past experiences, explore short stories, and participate in school-wide service learning projects. Boys also study historical leaders to identify difficult choices they faced, and the talents they used to achieve good outcomes. During the second half of the school year, every fifth grade boy is given an opportunity to apply what he has learned by identifying a need in the Lower School and designing a way to serve that need. The Decision Education and Leadership course give boys a framework for making good quality decisions and an understanding that each boy can use his unique talents to contribute as part of a team to serve and improve the world around him.
The annual fishing trip inspires social growth and bonding between the boys in their advisory groups.
Fifth graders enjoy a number of field trips throughout the year, including to the Wayne Arts Center (pictured) and the African-American Museum in Philadelphia.
Haverford’s thoughtfully constructed fifth grade program really prepared our sons for Middle School - academically and otherwise. By providing an academically challenging yet supportive environment where the boys learn to navigate between classrooms, interact with multiple teachers across subjects, and work collaboratively on a leadership project, graduating fifth graders leave the Lower School with all of the requisite study, organizational, and leadership skills necessary to successfully transition to the Middle School. These skills, and the confidence that comes from mastering them, prepares boys for the step up to Middle School and beyond. We couldn’t be happier with the Lower School experience.Carolyn, parent