A courageous path forward

Lower School begins a remarkable journey as students’ lives become filled with genuine relationships, a supportive community, and a unique sense of belonging. Nightingale fuels our students’ intellectual curiosity through adventure, play, and a challenging academic program. The Lower School educates holistically, with cognitive, social, and emotional learning designed for girls to receive careful individual attention while also thriving through collaboration.

The Lower School students are encouraged to take intellectual risks from the very beginning. From Kindergarten, students become accustomed to participating in assemblies and sharing their thoughts with the class, bravely tackling open-ended questions like “What is courage?” As their skills and knowledge expand each year by year, so does their ability to influence the world around them.

Each girl at Nightingale comes to know herself and all of which she is capable. Lower School students begin to develop some of the tools they will use as adults who can contribute boldly to a changing world. From an early age, students are taught to look through a global lens, value differences, and to embrace inclusivity.

Lower School Highlights

Community Building

Every two weeks, each Kindergartener is assigned a new partner pal. Partner pals walk to classes together, keep an eye on each other, and work collaboratively on lessons and skills. Familiarity grows, friendships blossom, and playdates are scheduled. It’s not just a buddy system: It helps build the community for students and their families that is core to a Nightingale education.

Community is at the core of a Nightingale education.

Early Exposure

Modern language studies at Nightingale are enriched through song, games, and play to help young students develop a deep love of language. The program builds on competence, confidence, and collaboration through introductions to Spanish, French, and Mandarin. Through the FLES program, Spanish is taught through Class III. French and Mandarin are added in Class IV. A special emphasis is placed on culture and making foreign language study part of a student’s overall learning experience, and not just an isolated subject.

Studies enriched with song, games, and play help develop a deep love of language.

From Imagination to Expression

In Nightingale’s celebrated Visual Education program, students learn to observe and analyze art, then express what they see through writings and presentations. Art is experienced in both the classroom and in New York’s great museums. From an early age, students develop fluency in the language of art while learning to value different ways of seeing and appreciating the imagination of others.

Students develop fluency in the language of art and the imagination of others.

Years at a Glance

Programs & Curriculum

Becoming a critical thinker

Lower School teaches students to learn how to think independently, to ask questions, to reason inductively and deductively, and to synthesize their learning.