Explore Grades 3-5

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The Facts

Your Lower School Experience

What will my day be like?

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. That means you will take subjects at different times each day to experience every class when you are energetic and focused. Your art, athletics, science and music classes are all in different buildings so you get a chance to really move around the campus. There are also recess, lunch and sports every day!

What classes and projects will I have?

In Grade 3, you will have one teacher for the main subjects (language arts, math, reading, science and social studies). In Grades 4 and 5, you will have different teachers for those subjects. You get to make giant painted murals, clay robots and other cool projects in art. In science, there are live animals in our lab that you can help care for. In music, you can choose an instrument to play or join the Chorus.

Every student gets their own iPad, which you use for all kinds of cool projects! We also have a computer lab with a 3-D printer. We make trading cards, publish books, and build and launch a rocket using household items such as paper, tape and an empty soda bottle. One of the favorite Lower School projects 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. Click here for more about your classes.

Where do I sit for lunch?

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, which is included in the cost of tuition, offers hot meals, as well as salad, soup, cereal, yogurt, peanut butter and jelly, and fresh fruit each day. Dessert is usually served once a week on Friday.

What sports can I play?

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.

In the fall, the Brown and White teams — made of up of mixed groups of third and fourth graders — face off in the fun (but competitive) Shrimp Bowl football game and Landon Cup soccer game. No matter who wins, there is a big party afterward!

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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?

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 Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. and The Jungle Book!

Is community service required?

Landon School Lower School community service

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 2016, the boys donated a total of more than 21,000 cans from two food drives!

Are there field trips?

Plenty! Our location in Bethesda, close to Washington, D.C., provides so many field trip opportunities. Grade 3 social studies class focuses on the geography and history of Maryland, so you will visit Annapolis to experience our state capital, explore a 19th-century factory in Baltimore to learn about the Industrial Revolution, and take a barge ride down Washington’s historic C&O Canal. Fourth graders meet and talk with some of their favorite authors during field trips to Politics & Prose, learn about crabbing and the local wildlife with a visit to the Chesapeake Bay, and get a taste of culture with trips to Washington museums. Fifth graders learn about teamwork and survival in the great outdoors with an adventure trip to Calleva, visit George Washington’s historic residence at Mount Vernon, and learn about the brave men and women who have fought for our country while walking among the monuments at Arlington National Cemetery.

Are there fun events?

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Yes! Each Halloween, Lower School boys compete against each other and students from the Middle and Upper Schools in our annual Pumpkin Races (see video above), where they race pumpkins they have decorated and outfitted with wheels. Lower schoolers also get to play field games with the Middle and Upper Schools when they all compete together in Bear Games (see video below), featuring “capture the flag,” dodgeball and a tug-o-war. We also end the year with a pool party right on campus.

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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 5 teacher (and former NFL player) Doug Nettles also coaches football; Grade 4 teacher Stevie Brown coaches Grades 3 and 4 soccer; Beth Hughes teaches third, fourth and fifth graders about the main branches of science, runs the Animal Club, and has coached a variety of sports; and Grade 5 teacher Steven Micciche directs the Lower School play and coaches baseball and football.

How will I make new friends?

Lower School Student Council

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 (see video below). Our welcoming community is always ready to give a Bear hug to new members!

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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.

Are there events with girls schools?

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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 (see video above). You will also work together on community service programs, dramatic and musical performances and art exhibits.

Lower School Calendar

Coates Auditorium
Mondzac Performing Arts Center
all day


Embrace your shortcomings

In a "This I Believe" speech delivered to his Middle School teachers and peers, George '22 shares why embracing his shortcomings has made him a stronger person.

17 seniors commit to play college sports

On February 7, two football players, four lacrosse players and six soccer players participated in a signing ceremony to formalize their commitments to compete at the NCAA level, joining five classmates who made official their intent to play college lacrosse during a similar ceremony November 8.

Wrestling wins IAC title

Landon wrestling captured its first outright Interstate Athletic Conference title since 1994 with a victory at the 2018 IAC Tournament February 3, as seven Bears won individual championships, two were runners-up, and eight earned All-IAC honors.

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