ACADEMICS AT ST. STEPHEN’S
Orientation: 15 months – 3 years
Orientation provides toddlers the opportunity to make a gentle transition from the home to a small nurturing classroom environment. Initially, both the child and the parent are welcomed into the classroom as they begin to form a trusting relationship with the teacher. The classroom itself is a specially designed space, where indoors and outdoors are closely linked, and where children are sensitively guided to work on and master the many developmental tasks corresponding to their age, while teachers simultaneously observe their individual needs and interests.
Primary: 3 – 6 years
The Primary program builds on the skills presented in the Orientation Program. The experiences of the primary student include the continued development of language, motor and social skills, as well as the introduction of concepts such as reasoning, perception, and comparison. This is all accompanied by the development of an internal and external sense of order. The Primary experience includes the introduction of academic subjects such as reading, mathematics, science, and geography.
Lower Elementary: 1st – 3rd grade
The Lower Elementary child has many new needs and interests. He or she has a newly found sense of independence and an awareness of both the small society of the classroom and the larger society of the world. The child now thinks with an inquiring mind and wants to explore the “why,” “when,” and “how” of the concrete facts they already know. The Lower Elementary program is designed to address these new sensitivities and concerns for the six- to nine-year-old student.
Upper Elementary: 4th – 6th grade
The Upper Elementary student is a capable young person ready to tackle the challenges that the St. Stephen’s curriculum offers at this level. For the younger child, the emphasis has been on “learning to read.” The student in Upper Elementary now “reads to learn.” Students are drawn to explore all aspects of the world and their interrelationships. A major focus at this level is in-depth study of the cultural areas: history, geography and the sciences.
Middle Years: 7th – 8th grade
Honoring our Montessori roots, the Middle Years program builds responsible learners who are familiar with a traditional upper-level academic environment. Students often have their first exposure to rotating classes, a traditional grading scale, and a workload geared towards preparing them for high school and beyond. When students graduate from our Middle Years program, they are prepared to advocate for themselves as elevated learners. We start the high school journey in 7th grade with test prep, counseling, and coaching. Although we pride ourselves in not teaching to the test, our students perform exceptionally well on standardized entrance exams, such as the ISEE. Leveraging our stellar Fine Arts Program and STEM Lab, St. Stephen’s graduates enter top Houston high schools ready.