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Catholic, Independent Elementary Schools Serving Chicago's Children Since 1876


Lower School:  Grades 3-5

Letter from Mary Ann Ligon, Head of Lower School

Welcome to Sacred Heart’s Lower School where our students enter the enthusiastic and exciting years of school as 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. In Lower School students, we see the development of the creative use of their imaginations joined with an enthusiasm for school and their place in our community. Their increasing sense of personal accomplishment and a growing awareness of their own learning styles becomes a focus as they begin to grow in knowledge and compassion, awareness and self-esteem.

Lower School students are curious, connected, competent and eager to communicate. Often that communications is humorous and insightful, demonstrating their joy in the learning process itself. Their curricular learning shifts from the basics of “learning to read” to the lifelong process of learning and sharing that knowledge with others. A common thread throughout the Lower School years is the development of critical thinking skills in all the academic subjects, ranging from an inquiry-based approach in science to shared inquiry discussion in literature.

There is never a dull moment in Lower School as students proceed through the study of foundational curricula such as math and language arts, science and social studies. Our world languages of French and Spanish, include the study of culture; religion, which provides an opportunity to grow in faith, are among special area classes students also offered in Lower School. The whole child is further nurtured with classes in physical education and wellness, visual arts and music, and technology. These special area classes provide student opportunities for service to community and environment, the development of cultural awareness, creative expression, personal fitness and health awareness, and an understanding of skills and applications in technology.

At the heart of their curricular experience is differentiated instruction that allows us to celebrate a diversity of learning styles and needs in an environment especially suited to young learners. Fundamental to our entire learning process is the affirmation of the respect for and value of each student as articulated by our foundress, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat.

I am looking forward to working with you, your children and your family during your time in Lower School! 


Lower School Curriculum


Nat Wilburn
Head of Schools

Mary Ann Ligon
Head of Lower School

Marjie Murphy
Director of Curriculum & Instruction