Lower School

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Lower School Facts

Landon Lower School Infographic - average class size 14, dress code, dress shirt and slacks

Your Lower School Experience

Who leads the Lower School?

Landon Lower School Head speaking to a group of lower school boys on the soccer pitch

Tara Montague has served as Landon's Head of Lower School since July 2019. Mrs. Montague was previously the Director of Studies at National Presbyterian School (NPS) in Washington, DC. 

Prior to her position as Director of Studies, Montague served as the school-wide learning specialist and as a homeroom teacher at NPS where she has been on the school's faculty for about a decade. With a master's degree in education, she has worked in independent schools for more than 20 years, taught in the Lower School at two all-boys schools — St. David's School (NY) and St. Albans (DC) — and is a product of independent education as a graduate of Punahou School (HI).

Follow Montague on Twitter to enjoy her observations and news from the Lower School.

 

What will my day be like?

Landon teacher greets a student at the start of the day

Students arrive around 8 a.m. to catch up with friends in their homeroom or talk with teachers, and classes begin at 8:10 a.m. An exciting thing about your schedule is that it changes from day to day. Landon School has an eight-day class cycle. The academic classes such as reading and math are in the morning when you are at your most focused. Your art, athletics, science and music classes are all in different buildings so you get a chance to really move around the campus. Recess, lunch, and sports are part of every day. (Read more about how we added more recess this year because of the scientific relationship between brain development and exercise.) You can stay for AfterCare or head home around 3:40 p.m. at pick-up. Music lessons are also offered after school!

What if I need extra help with schoolwork?

We understand that every boy learns differently. If you need extra help, your teachers and the Lower School specialist from our Center for Teaching and Learning Resources will work with you and your parents to develop a plan tailored to your strengths and needs so you can improve academically, complete your work on time, and develop a sense of confidence in your learning style. Please click here to see our Center for Teaching and Learning Resources policies and accommodations.

What classes and projects will I have?

 

In Grades 3, 4 and 5 you will explore the core subjects: writing, reading, math, science, social studies as well as Spanish. You get to make giant painted murals, clay robots, and other projects in art. In science, there are live animals in our lab who you can help care for. In music, you can choose an instrument to play or join the chorus.Your classroom will have computers that you can use to supplement learning. We also have a Lower School play that everyone participates in!

You will learn by working together and thinking creatively. You will create cool LEGO machines, conduct "book tastings" to sample different authors and subjects, and build and launch a rocket using paper, tape and an empty soda bottle.  One favorite Lower School project is to design a box that you can mail from your house to the school that will keep a potato chip from breaking into a million pieces. Another STEM project is to build an egg-carrying carClick here for more about your classes.

Landon lower school boys working outside on a science project

Do I get a computer at school?

Landon teacher works with two Landon boys on their laptop computers

Yes. Landon owns and provides each Lower School student with a laptop for you to do your work with your teachers. These laptops will be replaced with Microsoft Surface Pros in coming years. Our new technology plan outlines how we are going to accomplish that goal.

Where do I sit for lunch?

Three Landon lower school boys enjoy their lunch in the school restaurant

Lunch tables are assigned and change every month, with one teacher at each table. Third, fourth and fifth graders eat lunch together at 11:05 a.m. Lunch is included in the cost of tuition. Our provider, SAGE Dining, offers three different hot meal stations each day, as well as salad, soup and fresh fruit. Dessert is usually served once a week on Friday.

What sports can I play?

Landon lower school boy playing soccer as part of the fall sports program

In addition to daily recess and twice-a-week physical education classes, every Lower School boy plays sports from 1:25–2:20 p.m. each day. Grades 3 and 4 boys choose either football or soccer in the fall and then rotate through a cycle in the winter and spring to sample six different sports — basketball, wrestling and “intramural games” (including street hockey) in the winter, and baseball, lacrosse, and track and field in the spring — and figure out which they love.

Grade 5 boys can stick with intramurals or begin to compete in interscholastic sports against other schools, with choices including football and soccer in the fall; basketball and wrestling in the winter; and baseball, lacrosse and tennis (intra-squad matches) in the spring.

Can I do sports, music, drama and art?

Landon lower school boys perform on stage in the production Willy Wonker and the Chocolate Factory

Of course! In Lower School, you will take a studio art class to develop your painting, drawing and sculpting skills; discover which instruments you like to play in a general music class with your homeroom; and participate in a music group of your choice (Band, Strings or Chorus) that performs for the school, for parents, and at competitions near and far. Also, all boys can — and are encouraged to — take part in the Lower School spring play as an actor, set designer or stagehand. Recent productions include Willie Wonka & the Chocolate FactoryHonk Jr., and Schoolhouse Rock Live!

Is community service required?

While community service is not formally required, service to others is a big part of your character education in the Lower School. Under the leadership of the Lower School Student Council, with help from teacher-coach-mentors and parents, you will participate in community service projects to learn the value of contributing to the world outside Landon. Each year, lower schoolers make packed lunches and Thanksgiving baskets for those in need and collect canned goods for Bethesda Cares. In 2019, the boys donated a total of more than 20,000 cans from two food drives!

Are there field trips?

Landon boys standing in front of a statue during one of their educational trips

Plenty! Our location in Bethesda, close to Washington, D.C., provides so many field trip opportunities. In the spring of 2019, our entire Lower School took part in a community service field trip to Bethesda Cares to deliver cans collected in our food drive. Grade 3 social studies classes focus on the geography and history of Maryland, so you will visit Annapolis to experience our state capital. You will also visit the National Gallery of Art and learn about gems and fossils through our Mobile Mining program. Grade 4 learns about crabbing and the local wildlife with a visit to the Chesapeake Bay, watches a performance of Charlotte's Web at George Mason University, and better understands our history with a trip to the National Museum of the American Indian. Grade 5 visits the National Gallery of Art, takes a trip to Gettysburg to learn about civil war history, and meets authors at the bookstore Politics and Prose.

Are there fun events?

Yes! Each Halloween, Lower School boys compete against each other and students from the Middle School in our annual Pumpkin Races, where they learn about physics by racing pumpkins otufitted with wheels. Lower schoolers also get to play field games with the Middle and Upper Schools when they all compete together in Bear Games as part of our "One Landon Day" program

Two landon boys launch a pumpkin on wheels

Who can I ask if I have questions?

Your Landon teacher-coach-mentors are always ready to lend an ear. The same men and women who teach you in the classroom also coach you on the athletics field, advise you on the Student Council, and direct you on the stage. For example, Grade 4 math teacher Stevie Brown coaches Grades 3 and 4 soccer; Beth Hughes teaches third and fourth graders about the main branches of science, runs the Animal Club, and has coached a variety of sports; and Grade 5 math teacher Steven Micciche directs the Lower School play and coaches baseball and football.

Landon boys relaxed, sitting on bean bags, talking to their teacher

How will I make new friends?

Our class sizes are small so you will get to know your classmates well. And with sports, the play, music groups, Student Council, lunch and more, there are plenty of other ways to meet new people and bond with your Bear brothers. Plus, the summer before coming to Landon you will be paired with an “ambassador family” to help answer questions and introduce you to people when the school year begins. You will also meet Upper School students through our buddies program. 

Are there events with girls schools?

Definitely! Even though Landon is a boys school, you’ll have opportunities to participate in activities with girls throughout the year. From when they arrive on campus as third grade Bears, Landon boys collaborate with girls from Holton-Arms School and other area girls schools in hands-on learning activities for science, math and other academic subjects. You will also work together on community service programs, dramatic and musical performances and art exhibits.

Can I stay after school and do cool activities?

Landon has a new program for the 2019-20 school year called LEAP (Landon Enrichment & Afterschool Program). Classes like chess and typing are offered to boys in Grades 3-5, and they are taught by Landon faculty from 4-5 p.m. (Boys can stay for AfterCare until 6 p.m.) The goal of LEAP is to enhance the academic curriculum the boys learn during the school day. Read more about LEAP here.

Lower School Calendar