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Lower School

First impressions, as the adage says, are lasting ones.  First impressions at Hammond Lower School are ones of a warm and nurturing environment; where learning is engaging and rewarding and imaginations soar.  We offer a challenging program that develops each child’s potential. We offer an energetic approach to developing a child’s potential. Children explore their world in a challenging academic setting that includes:

  • music
  • art
  • language
  • physical education
  • technology
  • math
  • science
  • social studies
  • world languages—Latin or Spanish beginning in first grade.

We place special emphasis on character development and understanding the global community. We offer small class sizes, a vibrant education and an integrated approach to learning based on research and experience. We believe that science, writing, and literacy are integrated concepts. As such, we have developed an interdisciplinary curriculum based upon the most current research.

Our objective is not just to teach children to think, but to think differently; to help them become confident, independent learners who solve real-life problems, work cooperatively with others, and develop their personal talents, integrity, and ambition. Our teachers engage children in developing concepts, skills and creativity. We offer a developmentally appropriate learning experience and welcome children from varied racial, cultural, religious and economic backgrounds.

Lower School Philosophy

In this community of learners, teachers function both as instructors and as facilitators who provide guidance in the process and wonder of learning. With increased levels of independence and decision-making, children demonstrate higher levels of responsibility, greater ownership of their products, and increasing confidence about their work. We enable children to create rather than imitate; to analyze, not just memorize; and to question, not simply accept.

The Lower School seeks to foster and model active learning rather than passive learning and to provide a forgiving atmosphere in which children can utilize experience to build success. Feelings of uniqueness and self-worth are nurtured and channeled toward the empathy, awareness, and acceptance of self and others. The goal of the Hammond Experience is to prepare students to live as global citizens who possess the knowledge and strength of character to face the challenges of a global society.

Experiential Education

A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.
 ~Chinese Proverb

Scholars call it experiential education. Your children will call it what it is: leaving the inside for the classroom outdoors; getting their hands dirty; and learning by doing. Your child will explore the world by touching and doing.

At Hammond, we have the benefit of having Tom Manke, one of the state’s premier naturalists, as a faculty member. Mr. Manke’s cabin lies in the midst of the school’s 77 acres of wetlands and serves as the heart of our outdoor curriculum. To further study nature and biology, our students travel to nearby Congaree National Park in small groups to study flora and fauna, some of which hasn’t changed in a millennia.

Each year, Hammond chooses a country to study.  A teacher from each division is selected to travel to that country during the summer months.  In the Lower School we bring to life the country of study within our walls.  Children experience photos, music, artwork, clothing, textiles and sample foods throughout the year as well as a special devoted to the country of study where the Lower School is transformed into that country.

Each day creates new possibilities for your child and providing significant foundational pieces of education that leads to a life time of learning.

Hammond—Developing the Whole Child

The teachers at the Lower School have a well-developed sense of community. We believe that each child is each adult’s responsibility, and every teacher on campus, from Pre-Kindergarten through the 12th grade, appreciates that obligation. The coaches, for example, who guide our varsity sports teams also teach Lower School physical education and classroom teachers coach sports teams as well. That is the degree to which all teachers at Hammond are invested in your child’s success.

We stress the importance of being well rounded and well balanced: academics with athletics and good character ; and all three of those with obligations to and relationships with our greater community and world. We teach that all these things are tied together and that each of these experiences help develop a child’s sense of compassion. Our greatest accomplishment at the Lower School comes when we convince our students that they can create their own ideas and solutions that truly make a difference in the world.




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