Foundational Subjects

Junior School students collaborate on an experiment

We focus on critical- and creative-thinking skills to help students learn a variety of subjects

Our teachers play more of a facilitator role rather than being a lecturer at the front of a classroom. For children to become academically strong, they need to construct their own meaning and gain knowledge themselves, not simply absorb or memorize it. Our teachers research each child: listening, observing, documenting learning and knowing your child as an individual learner and as a person.

In addition to classes taught by specialist teachers, students spend much of their day with their core homeroom teachers who teach the following subjects.


Language Arts

Students gain a love of reading and develop their literacy, writing, listening and speaking skills through engaging and creative activities. These communication skills – especially as they apply to writing and speaking/presentation skills – are woven into their other subjects such as social studies and science. The teaching team provides one-on-one and small-group support to instill a passion for reading, developing literacy skills and ensuring each student is reading at a level that challenges them.

SMUS classrooms are designed to be flexible for group discussions
Our classrooms are designed to be flexible, creating welcoming spaces for group and individual work


Through problem-solving activities and real-life application of math skills, students learn and understand mathematical concepts. Young learners develop critical- and creative-thinking skills to help prepare them for further learning. Math at the Junior School is a balance between learning the foundations of math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) and understanding the context of how to solve math equations. For example, our teachers engage students in Number Talks – where students articulate mathematical thinking and incorporate visuals and materials.

Science and Social Studies

In science and social studies, we embrace your child's natural curiosity about the world. We encourage them to explore, and in doing so they develop observation and research skills. Field trips, guest speakers, scientific labs, class discussions and research projects help students learn these subjects and provide context for their newfound knowledge. Giving students the opportunity to see how lessons apply to the real world is an important part of the program. For example, in science class, students work with local organizations such as the Georgia Strait Alliance to see how what they learn in class relates to the work of scientists.

Life Skills

Social and emotional development play just as large a role in success as academic achievement. Through weekly assemblies and in-class lessons, students develop life skills such as learning to make good choices and set goals. Learn more about how we help students build skills, including leadership and service, along with our focus on character education.