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Ages 6 to 9 years

The Lower Elementary is based on the unique needs of children between the ages of six and nine. HPMS offers students the intellectual, social, and spiritual tools they need to flourish not just in school, but in life beyond school.

The curriculum is both broad and deep, fully integrating rigorous academic study with practical work in an atmosphere that fosters social, emotional and intellectual development.


Children entering the elementary years combine vigorous stamina and curiosity with the excitement that comes with mastering the basics of reading and writing, time management, independent work, and harmonious community life.


Children spend their days working both individually and collaboratively on a variety of highly engaging projects in the core subject areas of math, language, cultural studies (geography, history, sciences), and practical life.


Our highly skilled teachers customize research activity, field study, and art and music instruction based on a balance of student interest and the core goals of the curriculum.



  • Increasingly capable of abstract thought, students become less dependent on materials as they broaden and deepen their working knowledge of hierarchies, numerical operations, and geometry

  • Students extend and apply acquired skills, exploring preliminary concepts of algebra

  • Students eagerly observe mathematical properties and functions in the world around them and apply new concepts to studies in other areas, such as science and culture

  • Mathematics studies include: operations with whole, decimal and negative numbers; fractions, percentages, squaring, cubing and number bases


  • Effective written and verbal expression is emphasized as students learn to make themselves understood and get to know others

  • Language studies include: Sentence analysis, novel study, spelling and grammar exercises, daily reading and writing workshops, experience with different writing genres, and public speaking requirements are all part of the curriculum.

  • Additional curriculum highlights include a weekly newsletter published by sixth year students and a semester-long Independent Research Project (IRP) that teaches research, note-taking, expository writing, and presentation skills


Cultural Studies

  • Through rigorous research, students refine their critical thinking capacities.

  • Lower Elementary students trace the story of the evolution of humans

  • Students compare and contrast world civilizations, and they begin thematic studies of American history.

  • The interdisciplinary, research-based thrust of the curriculum culminates in the sixth year as students undertake a yearlong research project.

Physical and Life Sciences

  • Our science program brings students into direct contact with the central work of scientists: our students identify, question, explore, and conclude.

  • Students take responsibility for cultivating a peaceful, cooperative community.

  • Activities include: preparing lunch together, planting and maintaining an organic garden, organizing the library, staffing school events and participate in service projects such as fundraising for OBX SPCA and Outer Banks Food Pantry.


Additional Curricula
Special lessons in music, physical education, Spanish, health and art are offered.

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