a college preparatory
program for grades
3K - 12



K-3 K-4 K-5 Grades 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Enrichment Classes

Lower School Curriculum

Grades one through six begin each day with Daily Oral Language, Analogies, and Math Review.

Pre-Kindergarten (age 3)

Byrnes' Pre-Kindergarten class utilizes the HighReach Learning curriculum, together with supplementary materials. The curriculum's philosophy is that all children learn best through hands-on activities that address the needs of the whole child. The program reflects the belief that children need a balance of child-initiated and teacher-facilitated activities each day. Learning takes place as a child explores and manipulates real objects and events through the use of theme presentations.

Children this age learn to follow simple directions, verbalize feelings, and enjoy listening to short stories, fairy tales, songs and poems. They identify colors, shapes, numbers (1-10), recognition of their printed name, and learn to understand one-to-one correspondence. The curriculum also includes simple science and social studies units.

It is through exploring, discovering and manipulating that the child develops independence, confidence and a love of learning. It is at this stage that they learn to care for themselves, each other, and their environment.

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Pre-Kindergarten (age 4)

The HighReach Learning program is an essential part of the curriculum of the 4K. Used in combination with other supplementary materials, it utilizes thematic units to present various aspects of language development. Vocabulary building, oral expression, reading readiness, sight word recognition, and sequencing are taught through the presentation of these units.

The alphabet program is based on sound-symbol associations as it relates to concrete objects and everyday experiences. Letter-name and letter-sounds are important tools in the preparation of reading.

Math is also taught through thematic units using the HighReach program. A variety of manipulatives help children learn number concepts, sorting, graphing, classification, pattern development, and sequencing. It is important for children to experience the applications of math in their everyday lives. The use of manipulatives is essential in providing the knowledge needed to move from the concrete to the abstract. Science and social studies themes are also included in the HighReach curriculum.

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Kindergarten (age 5)

The McGraw-Hill language arts program utilizes a curriculum with a phonetic approach to reading. Using letter books, children learn consonant and vowels sounds. They blend the different sounds as they learn to decode simple words and word families and discover word meanings from context clues. Recalling main ideas, distinguishing between reality and fantasy and predicting outcomes by inference are a few of the skills learned during this time. The reading ability progresses from letter association and simple word decoding to story reading.

Through the use of controlled vocabulary books the reading program is reinforced at home. As their reading vocabulary increases, the child begins to write journal entries spelling phonetically.

Math is taught using the Sadlier-Oxford curriculum. Through textbooks and supplementary materials, the children will recognize and write numerals 0 - 100, by 1's, 5's, and 10's, including adding and subtracting numbers to ten. They will also identify shapes, colors, patterns, and sets as well as understand graphs, fractions, measuring, value of coins, and time to the hour and half-hour.

The science curriculum includes a study of the solar system, food groups, magnets, dinosaurs, seasons, growth/planting of seeds, dental hygiene, the five senses, animals (hibernation and migration), and the heart and blood. The curriculum is accomplished through, but not limited to, field trips, Weekly Readers, hands on experiments, crafts, worksheets, and "Show and Tell."

Social studies units introduced in 5K include community and workers, addresses, telephone numbers, friendship/social skills, safety, the world, famous Americans and holidays. Social studies discussions are accomplished through, but not limited to, field trips, Weekly Readers, crafts, worksheets, class projects, and "Show and Tell."

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First Grade

First grade students continue with the McGraw-Hill phonetic approach to reading. They learn to recognize sight words, decode new words and comprehend simple stories. Other skills include distinguishing between reality and fantasy, finding the main idea in sentences, determining cause and effect relationships, inferring, predicting outcomes, and drawing conclusions from stories. The spelling and language skills are incorporated in the reading series. The students participate in the Accelerated Reading Program and receive rewards for their achievements. Students are required to read at home and record their reading in a log.

The Sadlier-Oxford math curriculum continues with a review and expansion of numbers, basic addition and subtraction facts, measurements of time, money, length, and capacity. Basic geometry, fractions, graphing, and concepts in place value are introduced. The overhead projector and manipulatives have proven to be successful in teaching these skills to young children. Homework is given each night for reinforcement of the skills learned in class.

The Scott Foresman Science curriculum is based on major categories of the National Science Education Standards. Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science units contribute to the lessons taught in first grade. Process skills and inquiries are embedded throughout the content areas and are not taught as a isolated unit of instruction. Units of study include animals and plants, my body, life cycles of organisms, rocks, sand, soil, and water, seasonal changes, and exploring matter. Our science lab is used for hands on learning, experiments, filmstrips, and videos.

First grade students learn McGraw-Hill social studies skills by interpreting charts, graphs, and utilizing map skills. Students learn and study current events, as we read and discuss Weekly Readers each week. Students are also introduced to South Carolina history, learn state symbols, and record state facts in their history journals. Many of the social studies skills are also correlated into our reading curriculum. Field trips and guest speakers are important parts of the curriculum.

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Second Grade

Second grade students enjoy the best of literature from award winning authors and illustrators using the McGraw-Hill series. This anthology includes selections in fantasy, realistic fiction, content-rich nonfiction, and expository text. Each selection includes phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and study skills. These selections progress from easy to complex. The phonics program used for second graders offers a variety of approaches that include auditory, kinesthetic and visual methods. It provides practice activities, riddles, games and puzzles that encourage students to read, write, review, and check their work. The students are required to read a minimum of twenty minutes per night for a minimum of twenty nights per month and record their reading in a home reading log. A variety of book projects are done each month at home.

The weekly spelling words support the literature and phonics instruction in our reading series. The spelling practice book provides daily spelling practice that includes pretests, post-tests, at-home activities, and unit reviews. Our language lessons are inspired by literature and each lesson builds upon the previous one. Activities cover such topics as grammar, parts of speech, usage, mechanics, punctuation, spelling, vocabulary, and literature. Handwriting lessons tie directly into the curriculum with a review of manuscript letters, quickly followed by instruction in the cursive alphabet.

The second grade Sadlier-Oxford mathematical curriculum includes place values to the thousands, addition and subtraction up to three digits, multiplying and dividing by one digit numbers, identifying fractions, simple geometry and probability. The curriculum continues with time, money and measurement, and develops algebraic reasoning. Daily homework assignments reinforce the lesson of the day as well as review previous concepts.

The Scott Foresman science program is based on the National Science Education Standards for Second Grade. Areas of instruction include life science, physical science, and earth science. Units studied include animals, weather, changes in matter, and magnets. Process skills and inquiries are embedded throughout the content areas.

Units of study in the McGraw-Hill social studies curriculum include such topics as continents, map skills, Native Americans, United States symbols, branches of government, Washington, D.C., and South Carolina. Student-made booklets, videos, and art projects are used to enhance the units of study.

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Third Grade

Third Grade students continue to enjoy the best of literature from award winning authors and illustrators using the McGraw-Hill series. Selections in fantasy, realistic fiction, content-rich nonfiction, and expository text are included in this anthology. Each story includes phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and study skills. The spelling list for third grade supports the literature and phonics instruction in the reading series. The students continue to strengthen their phonic skills with practice activities, riddles, games, and puzzles. Language topics for the third grade include grammar, parts of speech, usage, mechanics, and punctuation. These topics are inspired by literature.

The third grade Sadlier-Oxford mathematical curriculum includes place value to the hundred thousands, adding and subtracting up to four digits, multiplying and dividing three digit numbers by one digit, measurement, time, adding and subtracting fractions, graphs and tables in simple probability. The curriculum continues with geometry and decimals, and further develops algebraic reasoning.

The Scott Foresman science program is based on the National Science Education Standards for third grade. Areas of instruction include life science, physical science, earth science and the human body. Units studied include habitats and adaptations, earth materials, heat and changes in matter, and the muscular system, the skeletal system and the nervous system. Process skills and inquiries are embedded throughout the content areas.

Third grade students begin using globes and different kinds of maps in social studies using the McGraw-Hill series. The curriculum includes the community in the USA and America's natural resources. It continues with a look in the past at the Native American communities, an English colony, and a Spanish mission in San Francisco. Building a government, building new lives, changing the way people live, and working together add to the content of the curriculum. Many geography, thinking, and study skills are incorporated in each unit.

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Fourth Grade

Fourth grade students are guided into the joy of reading through the use of seven novels. The novels include three historical novels integrated with the social studies time periods, two adventure novels, and two highly regarded literature works. Reading skills are taught through the novels including cause and effect, main idea, sequencing events, inferencing, characterization, and predictions, among others. Fourth grade requirements include a minimum of twenty minutes of reading in an Accelerated Reading book for a minimum of twenty nights per month. Each month an Accelerated Reading test is required. Students frequently read aloud and often use the podium and microphone to help them feel comfortable at a podium later in their school experience.

A Sadlier-Oxford vocabulary curriculum is used to develop and enrich vocabulary resources, promote more effective communication in today's world, and improve vocabulary skills assessed on standardized tests. The goal is that the mastery of words will help the students to become better readers and writers. The vocabulary should help the students understand and appreciate more of what they read and a wider range of words to use in their writings. Many of the words are incorporated into the social studies, science, and literature of the fourth grade.

The language curriculum is designed to teach grammar rules through repetition and usage. Correct writing procedures including correct sentence and paragraph structure will be taught using Six-Traits Writing. The "six trait" model breaks student writing into six components, each of which is studied and mastered separately: ideas, voice, word choice, fluency, organization, and conventions. One of the traits, voice, is particularly important. For students to understand the need to bring out their unique style of writing, they need to understand how all artists have a unique style that is their signature or voice. The goal is for all students to develop their own style of writing.

The fourth grade mathematical curriculum includes the following: place values, addition up to 5 digits, subtraction up to 6 digits, multiplication by two digits, division by two digits, measurements, addition and subtraction of fractions, graphs and tables in simple probability, geometric figures and formulas, decimals, and algebraic expressions and functions.

The fourth grade continues with the Scott-Foresman science curriculum. The units of study in the course are life science, physical science, earth science, and the human body. The topics include the classification of plants and animals, ecosystems, laws of motion, electricity and magnetism, light and sound, weather, the makeup of the earth, the characteristics of the ocean, the solar system, and the digestive, circulatory and nervous systems of the human body. The science lab is used for experiments and presentations.

Fourth grade students use the McGraw-Hill A Young Nation to continue their study of the United States. The curriculum begins with geography skills, reviewing maps, and scanning an overview of our nation. The actual history starts with the Maya and other native peoples in the Western Hemisphere. Columbus and colonization follow, leading into the 13 colonies and their various conflicts with Native Americans and the Spanish, French and British. The American Revolution, the struggle to form a viable government, and the inevitable expansion West are next. Slavery and the Civil War wrap up the fourth grade social studies curriculum. Integration of reading texts in the form of historical fiction makes the material come to life. In addition, films that relate to various time periods are shown to further help these people and events from the past seem real. Making connections between past times and today also helps to enforce critical thinking skills.

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Fifth Grade

Fifth grade reading is taught through the use of seven novels. Students are introduced to stories that captivate their imaginations and encourage them to read for the rest of their lives. The students read three historical novels integrating language arts with social studies so that both subjects come alive. Other genres include fantasy, fiction, survival, and adventure. Reading skills are taught through the novels including cause and effect, main idea, sequencing events, inferencing, characterization, and prediction, among others. Fifth grade requirements include twenty minutes of reading per night in an Accelerated Reader, for a minimum of twenty days per month. An Accelerated Reader test is required each month. Students frequently read aloud and often use the podium and microphone to gain the experience of appearing before a group.

The Sadlier-Oxford vocabulary workshop is used by fifth grade students to help them increase their vocabulary, improve their word usage skills, and become better readers and writers. The units are organized into five steps to promote retention of new words through repetition and multiple exposures to new words in a variety of formats.

The language taught in fifth grade is designed to teach grammatical rules through repetition and usage. Correct writing procedures including correct sentence, paragraph, and essay structure are taught. These skills combined with the Six-Trait Writing program help students learn correct usage while tapping their creative spirit and encouraging free expression.

Fifth grade students continue with the Sadlier-Oxford curriculum which expands the fourth grade curriculum in place values, addition of six digits, subtraction of six digits, multiplication using three multipliers, division using three digit divisors, fractions, simple probability and statistics, identifying plane figures, lines and angles, measurements, and decimals. Metric measurements, ratio, proportions, percent, and algebraic expressions and functions are developed and applied.

The Scott-Foresman science units of study include life science, physical science, earth science, and the human body. The topics include characteristics of living things, reproduction and heredity, special adaptations of plants and animals, elements, compounds, mixtures, solutions, physical and chemical changes, inertia, gravity, friction, forms of energy, electricity, weathering and deposition, climate, and the solar system. The human body study includes the respiratory and excretory systems, cause and prevention of diseases, and ways to achieve healthy lifestyles. The science lab is used for hands on experiments and presentations.

Fifth grade students use the McGraw-Hill, A Nation Grows, as the core of the social studies curriculum. They begin with a review of geography skills, briefly cover Native American cultures and the coming of the Europeans to the Americas. Colonization and conflict are presented as an overview, with slavery, emancipation, the Civil War and Reconstruction covered in more depth. Westward movement and immigration follow. The Industrial Revolution leads into World War I, the Great Depression, and then World War II and the Cold War. The Civil Rights movement is explained and then the ending of the Cold War. Finally, the book goes into depth on local, state, and national government and ends with an overview of local, regional, and national economics. Integration of reading texts in the form of historical fiction help the material come to life. Films relating to the various time periods are shown to further illuminate the lives of real people for the children. Critical thinking skills are encouraged as we frequently discuss the material and relate it to modern times.

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Enrichment Classes


All students in 4K through fifth grade have the opportunity to learn Spanish through the efforts of a full time Spanish teacher. Kindergarten through fifth grade classes meet with the Spanish teacher twice a week to experience the language. Videos and music are used to create a lively atmosphere for the younger students as they sing in Spanish and dance to music. The goal of the course is not to teach students fluency in Spanish, but to familiarize them with the language, culture, and customs of Spanish-speaking people. Ideally, students will develop an interest in foreign language for future language study and will develop a positive attitude toward learning another language.


The goal of the art classes is to expose students to as many quality art experiences as possible. The students work in many mediums, including clay, paper-machˆ, plaster of Paris, pen and ink, crayons, and water colors. Art history and art terminology are interwoven within the program.

Art is displayed throughout the school during the school year. Students participate in the annual art contest during the SCISA (South Carolina Independent School Association) meeting in the fall. During the Fall Festival of the Arts, every child displays a work of art for all to enjoy. An after school art class is available to Lower School students who wish to stretch their creative wings.


The Lower School offers computer experience in the classroom and through scheduled visits to the computer lab. Children in 3K and first semester 4K children work only in their classrooms. After Christmas the 4K class begins to visit the computer lab. Beginning in 5K all Lower School students meet twice a week for computer instruction in the lab. Students in 5K through second grade use a variety of programs designed to help the student achieve accuracy with the mouse and keyboard. These programs represent different curriculum areas such as math, social studies, and reading. Students learn to open and close programs and windows in the Windows Operating System. They also learn to use interactive programs on the Internet.

Grades three through five learn to use components of Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Student activities are often tied in with specific classroom subjects. Students become familiar with the basic Windows fundamentals, and keyboarding is reviewed for a brief period each year. Students learn how to use the Internet for research and resources.


Music is a wonderful sound in the Lower School. Preschool through fifth grade enjoy music class twice a week. The program includes choral singing, movement, instrument playing, voice technique, musical notation, harmony, music terminology, and music history.

All Lower School students perform a wide variety of music. Two musical concerts, one in December and one in the spring, are performed during the school day for the student body and an evening holiday concert is performed for parents and friends. The students also perform for several nursing homes in the Florence area. Formal appearances enhance the self-confidence of individual students.

Physical Education

Physical development and an appreciation for lifetime fitness are goals for the physical education program. A physical education teacher, a gymnasium, and a large playing field enhance the curriculum.

Early school and primary students participate in activities designed to help develop gross and fine motor skills. Basic coordination skills such as running, throwing, catching, and kicking are stressed in second and third grade. Sports and games are introduced to the fourth and fifth grade students. Participation, good sportsmanship, and fun are emphasized at all grade levels.

First through third grade students do not participate in competitive sports with other schools. However, fourth and fifth grade students compete with students from other SCISA schools. Many students join teams sponsored by local youth groups.


The library is important to the Lower School because Byrnes is a reading-centered school. Each class is scheduled to visit the library once or twice a week for story time or special instruction. Students are encouraged to check out books at every opportunity.

The Accelerated Reading program is part of the curriculum. Many incentives are used to encourage reading at all levels. Prizes are distributed each nine weeks at Friday assembly. Parents and students complete Reading Logs during the month. The Reading Logs are turned in to the classroom teacher at the end of each month.

In the fall Mark Daniels, a magical storyteller, presents Read-a-saurus during an assembly. Children are entertained with puppets, music, stories, and skits - all to encourage reading at an early age. This event is sponsored by the Byrnes Parent Organization. Twice a year the library sponsors a Book Fair for the students. Parents and students are encouraged to purchase books for their children and raise money for the library. The funds are used to purchase additional books and videos for the school.

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Important News

Coming Soon!  

Alumni Football!  Go to the Alumni page for more information!


Important Dates

Fri, August 17 - First Varsity Football Game; 6:30 pm

Wed, August 22 - First Day of School - Student Orientation;
  8 - 9 am...3K thru 2nd Grade; Cafeteria
  9 - 10 am...3rd Grade thru 6th Grade; Cafeteria
  11 - 12 noon...Middle School; Cafeteria
  12:30 - 1 pm...Upper School New Students; Library
  1 - 2:30 pm...Upper School; Cafeteria

Thurs, August 23 - First Day of Classes

Fri, August 24 - New Family Supper; 5:30 - 7:30 pm; 940 E Ashby Road (home of Ashby & Lori Gregg); rsvp to Beth Stonerock at Byrnes 662-0131

Tues, August 28 - BPO Family Supper & Parent Meeting; 6:00 pm in the gym

Mon, September 3 - Labor Day - No School

Wed, September 5 - School Pictures - Senior Formal Retakes; Underclassmen Individual Portraits; Fall Sports Pictures

The Byrnes Connection

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South Carolina
Independent School

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