The Lower School years at First Baptist Academy are spent in the grammar stage of the Classical Trivium, as students absorb facts and systematically lay the foundations for advanced study.
We desire to nurture the holistic growth and development of Pre-K-4th grade children within the framework of a Christ-Centered environment. It a great responsibility and honor to assist parents by providing opportunities for spiritual, physical, social, emotional, and academic growth so that each student may pursue a life centered on Jesus Christ.
The lower school years are critical times of development for students. Our faculty and staff are devoted to utilizing research-based practices to guide every student to reach their full potential daily. We work collaboratively to implement standards by designing skill-specific lessons and assessments to monitor student progress. We believe academic achievement is best accomplished when all activities are intentionally geared to help students acquire the facts and skills needed to meet the challenges of the classical model of Christian education.
Educational research shows that one of the most important characteristics of an effective school is building a strong home-school relationship. We welcome your involvement and seek to create strong home-school relationships. All children are more successful when we work as a team to achieve educational goals.
Core Classes: Math, Reading, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science.
Special Areas Classes: Music, Art, Library (Typing for 3rd and 4th), Physical Education, and Chapel.
*Additionally, kindergarten-4th grade students study Latin and Spanish.
In Pre-K, three and four-year-olds explore God’s world through many hands-on experiences. These students practice key concepts needed for their future success in school, including obeying school rules, following directions, developing work habits, and creating friendships that last through their entire academic career.
In Kindergarten, students are encouraged to become more independent in their tasks, working together as they learn and play, and building their individual confidence to achieve. Our classical approach offers structured lessons that incorporate drill, center play with exploration and review, and regular practice in new concepts and skills. Kindergarten students thrive as they grow together through reading and writing, number sense with addition and subtraction, the exploration of God’s world in science and cultural studies, and Biblical memorization. Students begin reading in kindergarten as teachers come alongside them to foster a love for learning through self-discovery and inquiry. Our kindergarten classrooms are truly a place where children develop a love for learning that will carry them through the rest of their academic career.
First grade is the year that our students delve into reading! This is accomplished through the Accelerated Reading Program, small reading groups, and even one-on-one tutoring when necessary. We reinforce and grow beyond basic kindergarten knowledge in areas such as coin-counting, time, and addition and subtraction skills. First grade students are introduced to adding and subtracting two-digit numbers, special sounds, and a wide variety of reading techniques. This is the first year that the students are introduced to grammar mechanics. They learn about six of the eight parts of speech and practice implementing these parts of speech in their own writing.
In second grade, students are challenged to become more independent learners as we focus on organizational skills and personal responsibility. Students begin to read novels to work on comprehension skills. They continue to memorize math facts but also learn to apply these facts to solve problems. Public speaking is an important area of focus during this time, as we emphasize and provide opportunities for students to practice intelligently and effectively communicating their convictions. Each second grade student is required to complete one project and present their ideas to an audience of their peers and parents.
Third and fourth grade are exciting developmental years. During this time, we strive to challenge students to become independent learners who are motived to achieve academic goals and meet academic standards. We are building upon the foundation from the early education years, while giving students more independence in order to prepare them for Early Middle School.
Third and fourth grade students transition from learning to read and begin reading to learn. They continue to develop comprehension skills by reading four novels throughout the school year and participating in our Accelerated Reading Program. Students also focus on literary terms and writing styles, including exclamatory, narrative, persuasive and descriptive. During this time, they learn how to write a 5-paragraph essay. Students have memorized math facts and are continuing to practice applying these facts to solve problems and compute higher-order problems. Public speaking remains an important skill for third and fourth grade students as we emphasize and provide opportunities for students to practice. Each third grade student is required to complete one project and present their ideas to an audience of their peers and parents.
We believe there is great value in providing opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. Each grade level goes on two field trips each year that enhance the knowledge they have developed, creating understanding through experience. Field trips are offered at a wide variety of exciting locations including Knoxville Zoo, Safety City, Norris Dam, and Knoxville Fire Department. Field trips are an excellent way for Lower School students to pair hands-on experiences with the knowledge they have attained to develop lasting comprehension.
We challenge students to be Christ-like leaders by providing a consistent example and opportunities to serve at every grade level. One of the key elements of our Portrait of a Graduate is Mission Engagement, and we encourage our students to serve on and off campus. Our Lower School classes take part in a wide variety of projects that allow them to practically impact the world for Christ in big and small ways.
In order to individualize learning, we offer additional development through our Learning Center. All of our teachers also offer tutoring hours that can be utilized as needed. This provides the opportunity for students to be challenged in specific areas and strengthen skills that have not displayed competency. The Learning Center individualizes every child’s learning plan so they can achieve their full potential in Christ.
Throughout the year, Lower School students participate in many celebrations that add fun and excitement to the learning process. These include music programs for various holidays, dress-up days for Spirit Week and other events, Awards Day ceremonies every nine-weeks, and other traditional occasions such as Field Day and class parties. We also host several events outside of the school day to encourage a Family-Environment, including our Back to School Celebration and Fall Festival.