Lower School Curriculum

From a young age, Speyer students are nurtured to become citizens of the world through the lens of historical knowledge. It is only from knowing where we’ve been that we can dream about the possibilities ahead as a global

Learning at Speyer is interdisciplinary in the truest sense, holistically integrating art, culture, history, and every life. Students explore relationships across subject and develop an understanding of the contextual influences on each of the disciplines.

A Unique Approach to Core Studies


Lower School Humanities weaves together themes and examples from a variety of content areas. We nurture Speyer students to be able to see the world through the lens of historical knowledge and interdisciplinary inquiry. Our inquiry-based cross-curricular approach provides opportunities for students to think critically across disciplines, then express their individual and group creativity, and to make personal connections through their classroom experiences.


While we emphasize historical contexts and content at The Speyer Legacy School, we are also committed to equipping students with strong literacy skills through a leveled reading program. We strive to instill and nurture a lifelong love of literature in our students, one in which they fully comprehend the logistics and nuances of the wide range of books they encounter.

A rigorous writing curriculum promotes creative expression as well as effective communication. Some units of study in the Lower School include narrative non-fiction, opinion writing, and historical fiction. Throughout instruction, we emphasize the proper use of punctuation, organization of ideas in both sentences and paragraphs, transitions from one idea to the next, and selecting the most effective words for communicating the intended idea.


Problem solving and perseverance are at the heart of our mathematics instruction. We use Singapore Math as the basis of our pacing calendar, but supplement each unit as needed with programs, such as Investigations and Contexts for Learning, to add a hands-on component to daily work. In addition to strengthening the students’ ability to make calculations, we place an emphasis on decoding and solving complex story problems. In this way, students develop the essential skill of being able to read a given problem and correctly determine what calculations are required for the solution.


Hands-on learning and lab-based experimentation permeate the science rooms, hallways, classrooms, and filed-based excursions. Innovative techniques allow the students to experience scientific concepts firsthand.


From kindergarten through eighth grade, Speyer students study Spanish, communicating through songs, poetry, plays, and conversation while experiencing the role of Spanish in New York City life.


A core academic subject starting in kindergarten and supported by chess masters, chess teaches not only how to think ahead and strategize, but also how to work towards goals.


Debate is an important part of the core curriculum starting in kindergarten; students learn to speak in public, persuade others, identify good data, think on their feet, and listen to and understand differing points of view.

The Magic of a Makers' Lab...

Our Makers' Lab is utilized by all students K-8. A Makers' Lab is a studio where students come to tinker, innovate, and build. The Lab is equipped with two 3D printers, a laser cutter, a vinyl cutter, programmable micro controllers, and so much more!