Learning Environments

Preschool Hallway

The Lower School wing of the Preschool/Lower School campus is abundant with vibrant colors. Each morning, students start the day by placing their backpacks and lunchboxes in their cubbies in the hallway and bringing what they need for the beginning of the day to their classroom.

Lower School Science Classroom

Discovery is the name of the game in the science classroom and adjoining laboratory space. First- and second-graders attend science class two days within each six-day rotation, and third- and fourth-graders have science three days within each six-day rotation.

Lower School Garden

Science classes are often taken outside to our living laboratory: the Lower School garden. Students plant and tend to edible plants, like lettuce, eggplant, cabbage, rutabaga and radishes; in the process, the garden bears fruit in the form of lessons about botany, nutrition and food webs.

Lower School TED Lab

The Lower School TED (technology, engineering and design) lab is a flexible space in which technology is used as a tool for learning and innovation. The classroom — recently redesigned as a design-thinking project for fourth-graders — has plenty of space on the floor for project work, as well as 20 desktop computers set up on small tables. Available in the classroom are four 3-D printers and abundant materials for experimenting with robotics and simple machines.

Lower School Technology

All Lower School classrooms are equipped with SmartBoards to aid instruction. Each fourth-grader is assigned an iPad for use in select classroom lessons; this experience helps prepare students for DA Middle School's 1:1 iPad Learning Program.

Preschool/Lower School Library

The library holds about 15,000 volumes and runs on a flexible schedule to allow students to visit at any time. In the corner of the library is a "treehouse" built by students with the help of our maintenance foreman. The construction was part of a celebration of the book Owen Foote Frontiersman, written by Stephanie Greene, the Lower School's 2014 visiting author.

Lower School Art Room

The Lower School art classroom is full of inspiration for our budding artists. Lining the walls are materials to be used in lessons, as well as projects recently created by students.

Lower School Music Classroom

The Lower School music classroom is filled with instruments like ukeleles, hand percussion, recorders, drums, xylophones and glockenspiels. There's also plenty of space for our young musicians to lift their voices in song and to dance! For many years, the Lower School has utilized the Orff Schulwerk music education approach, which combines music, movement and speech into playful lessons.

Lower School PE Outdoors

Lower Schoolers have physical education class every day, and our PE faculty often makes use of our abundant outdoor areas by holding class outside — where there's plenty of room for fun and games.

Lower School Gym

Looking for an energy boost? You can always find it in the Preschool/Lower School gym, where the excitement of Lower Schoolers stretching, running and dancing their way to healthy habits is palpable. The gym is well-stocked with equipment for exercises and games appropriate for Lower School-aged children. Lower Schoolers participate in PE class every school day.

Lower School Blacktop & Playground

The Lower School blacktop and playground is the epicenter of recess periods and after-school programming. In addition to playing hoops, students make use of the blacktop area for games like pickleball and four square. The playground — complete with swings jungle gym equipment — is a popular spot for Lower Schoolers of all ages.

Preschool-Lower School Turf Area

A turf area was recently added to the Preschool-Lower School campus, offering an additional venue option for physical education classes.

Brumley Performing Arts Building

Brumley Performing Arts Building is where the entire Lower School student body gathers for assemblies. Brumley also serves as the venue for performances like student music programs and the Fourth Grade Play, with plenty of space for an enthusiastic audience of parents and family members.

Preschool/Lower School Campus

Durham Academy's Preschool and Lower School divisions are housed together in a warm, light-filled building that opened in 2002.