Explore Nursery - Grade 3

What makes the GCDS experience special?

Every child is curious, and our goal is to provide a learning environment that nurtures your child's love of discovery.

The Lower School is a learning lab where joyful, serious, fun exploration happens every day.

GCDS teachers understand that the best learning happens when a lesson sparks children’s interest and strengthens their individual self-motivation. Boys and girls, learning together, build an expectation and love of daily learning that is lifelong.

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How does GCDS give my child a strong academic foundation?

The strength of Country Day’s academic program begins with our exceptional teachers. Alums frequently share that—even though they've gone on to attend top colleges—many of their best teachers and most valuable lessons were from their time at GCDS.

GCDS teachers continually look for better ways to engage each student. The academic curriculum is designed to give our students a solid foundation in core subjects while ensuring they also develop the powerhouse skills—collaboration, problem solving, creativity—needed for success.

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Like all aspects of GCDS, the academic program blends tradition and innovation. High academic standards remain constant while the school adapts to better prepare students for a rapidly changing world. Today, technology is a key tool for learning, and both coding and STEM projects are a vital and enthusiastically embraced part of the Lower School learning experience.

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How does GCDS help students to be healthy and physically active?

P.E. is a wonderful part of learning at GCDS. From their first days in nursery, students have regular P.E. class. Physical exercise is tremendously important for cognitive development, and through fun games our P.E. teachers help students learn about fitness and find activities and sports they love.

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In addition to P.E. class, regular play outside is part of every day. Meals are served family style, and lunches are made from scratch in the GCDS kitchen with ingredients carefully selected for quality and nutrition.

Does GCDS value arts education?

The arts are treasured at GCDS as a way to cultivate creativity, build confidence in their ability to take on and stick to new challenges, and help students explore new talents and interests. In studio art, Lower School students learn to work with clay, pencil, acrylic paint, and collage. In addition to teaching students to read music, study music theory, begin their exploration of instrumental music, and sing, the music program and performances complement the formal public speaking program in helping students become comfortable on stage.

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How does GCDS develop character in the Lower School?

The development of character has been at the heart of a Country Day education since the school's founding in 1926. In the Lower School, the TIGER PRIDE program makes important aspects of character tangible and memorable.

TIGER PRIDE lessons are woven throughout the day. Students like to catch one another showing TIGER PRIDE. Our Lower Schoolers know and appreciate the power and impact of caring and respectful choices in their days, with their friends and their teachers.

After learning about TIGER PRIDE in class and creating a smiling tiger from a paper plate, one of our kindergarteners told his mom, “Whenever I do something that’s not TIGER PRIDE, show me this so I remember.”

What does it mean to be a GCDS graduate?

By any measure, GCDS graduates are successful. They are class presidents and team captains, National Merit Scholars, and recipients of awards for academic achievement. They go on to found tech startups, compete in the Olympics, direct documentaries, positively transform the world through service, and much more. Underlying it all is the strength of their character and their commitment to lifelong learning.

At Country Day, in helping curious minds learn to solve problems, find data, work together, and take initiative, we are successfully preparing students to meet whatever the future holds. This journey begins in our Lower School.


Lower School


Lower School

Physical Education

Lower School


Integrity & Service