The Punahou Journey
Junior School

Grade 4

In fourth grade, goals for students include finding a passion, building a solid skill set, being active learners who can advocate for themselves, and becoming deeper thinkers. Experiences are ever-evolving and varied, yet impactful and designed to develop an intrinsic love for learning. A team of caring teachers strives to provide opportunities to learn through extended projects that balance independence and collaboration, develop inquiry skills, and constitute a meaningful challenge.
Fourth grade welcomes 50 new students to Punahou, raising the overall grade size to 200. New students are paired with a buddy, to help them acclimate to new surroundings and jump-start friendships. 

The curriculum centers around adaptation, with continuing inquiry into water systems, and a look at Native Americans and explorers. Core components also include PE (including swimming), outdoor education, Hawaiian studies, music and art, as well as once-per-cycle chapel, drama (incorporated in chapel) and Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEEL) curriculum that continues to build empathy and responsibility, and introduces human growth and development (same gender only).

Students expand their technology skills with one-to-one laptop computers. As educational technology becomes more essential to classwork and homework, students learn more about responsibility, and safe and ethical use.

In March, Punahou (and Punahou families) hosts 16 students from partner school Keio Yochisha Elementary School in Tokyo, Japan, for a valuable cultural exchange (a reciprocal trip is available to 16 Punahou students in the summer after fifth grade). The spring also features a combined music and arts program, followed by an all-student performance in Punahou’s schoolwide May Day celebration.