Punahou's Junior School Principal and five supervisors oversee approximately 2,000 students in grades K-8. Divided into three smaller sections (K – 2, 3 – 5 and 6 – 8), the Junior School learning experience encompasses an age-appropriate curriculum that integrates creativity and arts with a comprehensive academics program.
The smaller, self-contained sections are designed to meet the special needs of these groups of children. Supplemental education, such as outdoor and camp experiences, are also offered in the Junior School.
Grades K – 5 Punahou's K – 5 curricula offers students the opportunity to develop diverse skills through art, mathematics, music, outdoor education, physical education, reading and language arts, science, social studies and technology. In kindergarten through grade 3, computers are used in the classroom for collaborative and individual work. All students in grades 4 – 8 receive a personal laptop as part of the One to One Computing Program. Students will also have access to classroom computers and the Kelley Technology Lab.
"We recognize that when students play an active role in seeking out, assimilating and mastering what they are being taught, it then becomes theirs.
When a teacher is only the disseminator of information, it renders the student as a passive learner...and we don't want our students to be passive learners. We recognize that they are engaging, animated and passionate learners, and we want to encourage that."
- Michael Walker Junior School Principal
Middle School (Grades 6 – 8) In grades 6 – 8, students study art, English, home ec, language, mathematics, music, physical education, science, shop, social studies and technology.
Within the grade level, students are organized by teams. Each team is comprised of an interdisciplinary group of teachers and the students who share those same teachers. In grade 6, students switch between a language arts teacher and a math/science teacher for their core courses. Teams are made up of two pairs of switch teachers and the 96 students they share. In grades 7 and 8, each team has four teachers of the core disciplines: math, science, English and social studies.
These teams create smaller groups of learners with teachers sharing the same groups of students providing a more attentive environment. The grouping of students within teams changes each year.