Preview PC's Lower School

Considering Penn Charter for your child? Dive in below to read about the learning experience in Lower School, about PC's history and community, and about Quaker education. We welcome you to explore our school. 

Lower School Curriculum

A program of cognitive and character development rooted in rich knowledge of how young children learn best.

We know that children learn best when ideas are connected. We know that children learn by doing and by working together. So, our curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary, collaborative, hands-on learning. Our students ask questions, think critically, write effectively, listen carefully and put all those pieces together.

Lower School Stories

Lower School on Instagram

Click the image above to read about the World Peace Game, an exciting example of project-based learning in our Lower School

What's to Come: A New Lower School

The new Lower School will be light-filled, student-centered and curriculum driven.

Our vision for a campus transformation includes an Academic Village with a new lower school designed for our curriculum and teachers, for what research tells us about the way children learn and grow, and to provide our students with the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in a complex world. 

Fast Facts


Students in Lower School, pre-K through fifth grade. 


William Penn founded his school in 1689 to educate citizens for the new world.


Average class size in Lower School.


1:1 laptop program in grades 3-5, supported by a full-time LS technology coordinator. 

More Lower School Fast Facts

  • LS Student:Teacher Ratio: 7:1
  • 38% identify as students of color
  • 37% students receive need-based financial aid
  • Geographic diversity: LS students hail from 51 ZIP codes across 4 counties and 82% are Philadelphia residents.
  • School day hours: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Early- and After-Care Hours: 7:45 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., no charge; 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., fee-based
  • Age requirements: by Sept. 1, child must be age 4 for pre-K, age 5 for kindergarten, and age 6 for first grade in the year of entry. 
  • Classes offered beyond reading, writing and math: 7 subjects—science, Spanish, music, art, library, technology, physical education—taught by Lower School specialists in Lower School classrooms.
  • Transportation: There are many ways to arrive at Penn Charter, including school bus, private bus or shuttle, public bus, train, and car. 
  • Pre-kindergarten is housed in a church adjacent to campus in a completely renovated, light-filled space with two classrooms, a studio space, a large playroom and outdoor play area. All within steps of the campus.
  • Kindergarten through fifth grades are in one building, with neighboring playgrounds and fields. PC will build a new Lower School soon.

Life at Penn Charter

Quaker Values

Quaker Education

Quaker values are at the heart of everything we do and expect of our students, including what is taught, how it is taught, students' behavior and their relationships with each another.


Parent Community

Penn Charter's Parent Community works to support our school and help make the overall experience engaging, enriching and meaningful for the entire family.


History and Tradition

Historical Overview

Founded in 1689 by William Penn and members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Penn Charter is the oldest continuously operating Friends school in the world.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Upper School senior students taking a group photo together.

Penn Charter seeks to build a community representing diversity in race, religion, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, gender, sexual orientation — as well as learning style, opinion and hometown.

Student Community

two older girls flank two younger girls, all holding hands as they walk out of a building.

From all-school traditions to academic projects, our oldest and youngest learners learn from — and have fun with! — each other.


PC/GA Day is an annual competition between Penn Charter and Germantown Academy in 10 varsity sports. The gridiron competition is the oldest continuous high school football rivalry in the United States.

Service in the Center for Public Purpose

The Center for Public Purpose (CfPP) engages Penn Charter students in community-based work addressing some of the most pressing social issues in the metropolitan Philadelphia.

Building Community

At Penn Charter, building community among our students, between teachers and students, and between parents and teachers is a hallmark of Lower School.


Color Day

Established in 1892, Color Day is an annual gathering of the PC community for a friendly festival competition between two teams, Blue and Yellow, representing Penn Charter’s school colors.

PC Publications

a screenshot of 5 covers of publications by Penn Charter.

Parent Newsletter


    Stories & Voices from Our Community


    PC Ambassadors Student Blog

    PC Student Ambassador Blog


    Middle School curriculum

    Fostering intellectual, physical and emotional growth through an age-appropriate curriculum and a facility designed to support our learners.

    Upper School curriculum

    What would it mean to work at the edge of what you already know? To step out beyond the safe answers and the talents that have always come naturally? To pursue ideas with real depth?