What does PCA North's Lower School offer?
The Lower School at PCA North offers a nurturing environment where every child is challenged to meet their full potential as they are introduced to the world of ideas. Classrooms provide an active, vibrant atmosphere where learning is fun and teachers meet each child’s individual learning needs. Small groups and differentiated instruction contribute significantly to the quality of our academic program.
We invite you to read about our Lower School curriculum and activities below!
Lower School Highlights
- Biblically integrated curriculum
- One-to-One Apple devices
- Technology skills integrated into students' everyday learning. Teachers integrate different skills age-appropriate and applications into core subject lessons allowing students to learn how to use technology in a natural environment.
- Curriculum-aligned field trips and activities
- Weekly Chapel and service projects with a missions focus
- Emphasis on written communication skills through Collins Writing
- Strong phonics foundation for First and Second Graders
- Bible as a core subject
- A strong math curriculum
- Strong grammar focus through Shurley Grammar
- Healthy habits feedback with the Fitnessgram program in P.E.
- Foreign Language instruction
- Fine Arts focus through music and art classes
- Connection to older students to serve as positive role models
- Aftercare is available
Enrichment opportunities at Prestonwood Christian Academy are designed to enhance the vertically-aligned curriculum through the addition of innovative learning experiences which extend beyond the classroom.
High Touch, High Tech
Stand Up and Be Heard
The purpose of the Stand Up and Be Heard Program is to help students lose the fear of presenting in front of a group by equipping them with effective presentation skills. The program starts in First Grade with one filmed oral presentation and continues from Second through Eighth Grades with two filmed oral presentations a year.
Students learn about key areas of good presentation: stance, introduction, eye contact, voice, gestures and conclusion. The key component of the program is that students can watch their performance and receive feedback from a parent coach or the SCS Director.
Students grow in confidence as they learn some key essential elements to oral presentations.
Click here to learn more about PCA's Communication Arts' Stand Up and Be Heard Program.
PCA is committed to teaching students about a healthy lifestyle. The FitnessGram is a series of physical activities done by students in a controlled setting in order to obtain a benchmark of their overall fitness level. The testing consists of several components such as a pacer test, push-ups, curl-ups, a trunk lift, and a BMI measurement that provide an indication of a student’s level of fitness. Results are sent home, along with a letter of explanation, after all test data is entered. This is repeated annually in order to track growth.
After the students study simple machines learning basic physics in science and "The Age of Inventions" in history, the two are combined with the challenge of the Invention Convention. Students are taught how to think like an inventor by first observing their world, identifying a problem and then brainstorming and experimenting to find a solution to that problem culminating with the Invention Convention. Each student has an original invention or prototype. There is a display board to share the idea including the purpose, cost, the operation of the invention, a related Bible verse and pictures of the student creating the invention. It is always one of the students' favorite activities of Third Grade.
Courageous Christians is an interactive day where students are part of living history! The classroom becomes a museum that features historical heroes of the faith who have shown great bravery and courage in the face of adversity while staying true to their Christian faith. Fourth grade students preface this day by completing a research paper featuring their courageous Christian's life and accomplishments. Each classroom becomes a live wax museum and is filled with so much history!
- Oceanography Fair
- Native American Regions Day
- State Fair Stomp
- Little House on the Prairie Day
The First Grade Ocean Project is a great example of curriculum integration. The First Grade students are assigned an ocean animal at the beginning of the thematic ocean unit. The students research their animal finding three descriptive facts and three fun facts. The students practice technology skills by creating a PowerPoint presentation using the facts researched. At the end of the unit, the students present their PowerPoint presentation to the class, as well as a model they have made of their animal. Each presentation is videoed as part of The Stand Up and Be Heard Program. The students receive feedback related to their communication skills.
Native American Regions Day
All of the Second Grade classes celebrate Native American Regions Day as the second grade students rotate through centers in which they learn customs about different Native American regions of the United States. Native American Region Day is a fun activity for our second graders and a great learning experience about how indigenous people adapted to their region to create their heritage, customs, and community.
State Fair Stomp
The State Fair Stomp is a Physical Education Showcase that incorporates kinesthetic movement with music in a large group environment in order to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. It involves various manipulatives that include the use of bandanas, parachutes, basketballs, noodles, and tinikling poles. The purpose of this event is to develop spatial awareness, movement skills, and cooperative learning by demonstrating a variety of activities that are taught in elementary PE classes.
Little House on the Prairie Day
Little House on the Prairie Day is a culminating event to an integrated unit involving history, literature and writing. A central component of the unit involves the novel study on Little House on the Prairie. At the end of the unit of study teachers plan an entire day of activities emphasizing this time period and ask students to dress in appropriate costumes depicting life on the prairie. Students rotate to different classrooms for various activities such as school in a prairie schoolhouse, fiddle music at a cake walk, games such as hopscotch and hand string games, and churning fresh butter. This integrative, interactive activity is enjoyed by all and helps students experience the pioneer days.
Competitions at Prestonwood Christian Academy offer an opportunity for students to stretch themselves through oral and written communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills, exercising creativity, collaboration through teamwork, risk taking and more.
PCA Parents can find more specific information and links to register their students via myPCA.
ACSI Speech Meet
ACSI Spelling Bee
The ACSI Spelling Bee is held annually for students in third through eighth grades. ACSI provides a list of spelling words designed to help students integrate both writing and reading exercises with spelling. Students first compete within their grade level with the top students advancing to the District competition. From the District level, students in fifth through eighth grades become eligible to advance to the Regional competition. The objective of this competition is to develop good spelling habits, good vocabulary, and proper communication as well as to promote fellowship with students from other Christian schools.
ACSI Math Olympics
The ACSI Math Olympics is held annually for students in third through eighth grades. Students first compete within their grade level with the top students advancing to the District competition. All North Campus students in grades 3-8 will take part in the In-House competitions in both Computation and Reasoning, so registration is not necessary. From the District level, students become eligible to advance to the Regional competition. The objective of this competition is to stimulate an interest in math and provide opportunities for fellowship with math students from other Christian schools. Students are also recognized for their achievements and are given the opportunity to glorify God through their mathematical abilities.
Comments from a recent parent survey:
We truly love and appreciate everything about PCA. The teachers are outstanding and the Lower School administration is incredible.
I appreciate the fact that my children are exposed to Christian teachers who display mercy, grace and loving discipline as needed.