What does PCA's Lower School offer?
PCA’s Lower School offers a nurturing environment where every child is challenged to meet their full potential as they are introduced to the world of ideas. Classrooms provide an active, vibrant atmosphere where learning is fun and teachers meet each child’s individual learning needs. Small groups and differentiated instruction contribute significantly to the quality of our academic program.
We invite you to read about our Lower School curriculum and activities below!
- Biblically integrated curriculum
- Technology integrated classrooms as well as Technology classes
- Curriculum-aligned field trips and activities
- Weekly Chapel and service projects with a missions focus
- Emphasis on written communication skills through Collins Thinking and Writing Program
- Strong phonics foundation
- Bible as a core subject
- A strong math curriculum
- Strong grammar focus through Shurley Grammar
- Healthy habits feedback with the Fitnessgram program in P.E.
- World Language instruction in Spanish
- Fine Arts focus through music and art classes
- Connection to older students who serve as positive role models
- Early and Aftercare are available
I appreciate the fact that my children are exposed to Christian teachers who display mercy, grace and loving discipline as needed.PCA PArent
Enrichment opportunities at Prestonwood Christian Academy are designed to enhance the vertically-aligned curriculum through the addition of innovative learning experiences which extend beyond the classroom.
- High Touch, High Tech
- Stand Up and Be Heard
- Book Club
- Reading Buddies
- Invention Convention
- Mystery Reader
- Texas Hall of Fame
- Oceanography Fair
- Native American Day
- State Fair Stomp
- Little House on the Prairie Day
The purpose of the Stand Up and Be Heard Program is to help students lose the fear of presenting in front of a group by equipping them with effective presentation skills. The program starts in First Grade with one filmed oral presentation and continues from Second through Eighth Grades with two filmed oral presentations a year.
Students learn about key areas of good presentation: stance, introduction, eye contact, voice, gestures and conclusion. The key component of the program is that students can watch their performance and receive feedback from a parent coach or the SCS Director.
Students grow in confidence as they learn some key essential elements to oral presentations.
Click here to learn more about PCA's Communication Arts Program and how students can get involved.
Book Club is a program developed and implemented by our Lower School Counselor. She selects a short literature book for each month related to a particular topic such as bullying or friendship. All students in grades first-fourth who choose to participate read the same book and meet during their lunch period one day during Book Club Week to discuss the book. The counselor enriches the discussion with games, snacks or crafts to make the experience enjoyable and memorable.
PCA is committed to teaching students about a healthy lifestyle. The FitnessGram is a series of physical activities done by students in a controlled setting in order to obtain a benchmark of their overall fitness level. The testing consists of several components such as a pacer test, push-ups, curl-ups, a trunk lift, and a BMI measurement that provide an indication of a student’s level of fitness. Results are sent home, along with a letter of explanation, after all test data is entered. This is repeated annually in order to track growth.
Reading Buddies is a Lower School program developed to promote the love of reading and mentoring. An older class is matched up with students in a younger class, and they meet monthly throughout the school year. The older students read aloud to the younger students providing a good role model as well as developing a lasting friendship. This becomes a valuable and enjoyable experience for all.
After the students study simple machines learning basic physics in science and "The Age of Inventions" in history, the two are combined with the challenge of the Invention Convention. Students are taught how to think like an inventor by first observing their world, identifying a problem and then brainstorming and experimenting to find a solution to that problem, culminating with the Invention Convention. Each student has an original invention or prototype. There is a display board to share the idea including the purpose, cost, the operation of the invention, a related Bible verse and pictures of the student creating the invention. It is always one of the students' favorite activities of Third Grade.
Third Grade offers a read-aloud program called Mystery Reader to promote the love of reading. Teachers invite parents, faculty and celebrities to read to the class. The reader sends the teacher five clues about themselves prior to their visit and the students try to guess who the Mystery Reader will be that week. The reader selects a favorite book to read aloud, and this becomes a very special time and memory for both the reader and the students.
The Texas Hall of Fame is an interactive day where students are part of living history! The classroom becomes a historical museum that houses famous Texans from the time period of the Alamo and Texas’ fight for independence. You also hear from many influential Texans that have made history in this great state. You might meet Sam Houston, Davy Crockett or even former President George W. Bush. Fourth grade students preface this day by completing a research paper, featuring their famous Texan’s life and accomplishments. Each classroom becomes a live wax museum and is filled with so much history!
The First Grade Ocean Project is a great example of curriculum integration. The First Grade students are assigned an ocean animal at the beginning of the thematic ocean unit. The students research their animal finding three descriptive facts and three fun facts. The students practice technology skills by creating a PowerPoint presentation using the facts researched. At the end of the unit, the students show their PowerPoint presentation to the class as well as a model they have made of their animal. Each presentation is videoed as part of The Stand Up and Be Heard Program. The students receive feedback related to their communication skills.
All of the Second Grade classes celebrate Native American Day as the second grade students rotate through centers in which they learn customs about different Native American groups of people. At each center, a second grade teacher discusses facts about a particular group regarding their culture and way of life. Then the students participate in making an item related to that Native American group such as a wampum or scrimshaw, and they play games that Native American children would have enjoyed. Finally, Native American artifacts such as baskets, woven rugs, pottery, jewelry, and arrow heads are displayed for everyone to see. Native American Day is a fun activity for our second graders and a great learning experience about other cultures.
The State Fair Stomp is a Physical Education Showcase that incorporates kinesthetic movement with music in a large group environment in order to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. It involves various manipulatives that include the use of bandanas, parachutes, basketballs and noodles. The purpose of this event is to develop spatial awareness, movement skills, and cooperative learning by demonstrating a variety of activities that are taught in elementary PE classes.
Little House on the Prairie Day is a culminating event to an integrated unit involving history, literature and writing. A central component of the unit involves the novel study on Little House on the Prairie. At the end of the unit of study teachers plan an entire day of related activities emphasizing this time period and ask students to dress in appropriate costumes depicting life on the prairie. Students rotate to different classrooms for various activities such as school in a prairie schoolhouse, fiddle music at a cake walk, games such as hopscotch and hand string games, and churning fresh butter. This integrative, interactive activity is enjoyed by all and helps students experience the pioneer days.
Competitions at Prestonwood Christian Academy offer an opportunity for students to stretch themselves through oral and written communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills, exercising creativity, collaboration through teamwork, risk taking and more.
PCA Parents can find more specific information and links to register their students via myPCA.
Destination Imagination (DI) is an exhilarating after-school activity in which students work in teams to solve mind-bending challenges and present their solutions at tournaments. Teams are tested to think on their feet, collaborate and create original solutions that satisfy the requirements of the challenges. Participants gain more than just basic knowledge and skills—they learn to unleash their imaginations and take unique approaches to problem solving.
It is widely recognized that creativity, innovation, and the ability to manage change are essential competencies for today’s students – who live in, and are preparing to enter the workplace in, a world of rapid and accelerating change. A survey of more than 400 employers found their biggest concerns were that youth lacked 21st-century skills that will make them competitive in the job market. Three-fourths of those employers viewed creativity and innovation to be among the top-five skills most important in the current climate (eSchool News, October 2006). Based on more than five decades of research and development of Creative Problem Solving (CPS), we know that individuals and groups from the primary grades through adulthood can learn and apply creativity, teamwork, and problem solving.
Prestonwood Christian Academy is proud to make this great program available to students in grades 3 through 7 as well as to their parent coaches!
The ACSI Spelling Bee is held annually for students in third through eighth grades. ACSI provides a list of spelling words designed to help students integrate both writing and reading exercises with spelling. Students first compete within their grade level with the top students advancing to the District competition. From the District level, students in fifth through eighth grades become eligible to advance to the Regional competition. The objective of this competition is to develop good spelling habits, good vocabulary, proper communication as well as to promote fellowship with students from other Christian schools.
The ACSI Math Olympics is held annually for students in third through eighth grades. Students choose to participate in either the Computation or the Reasoning category and work with parent coaches prior to each level of competition. Students first compete within their grade level with the top students advancing to the District competition. From the District level, students become eligible to advance to the Regional competition. The objective of this competition is to stimulate an interest in math and provide opportunities for fellowship with math students from other Christian schools. Students are also recognized for their achievements and are given the opportunity to glorify God through their mathematical abilities.
We truly love and appreciate everything about PCA. The teachers are outstanding and the Lower School administration is incredible.PCA Parent