In a distinctly joyful environment, the Lower School program provides a comprehensive educational foundation by focusing on the cognitive, social and emotional needs of the Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 4 students. Lower School educators foster a passion for learning within a blend of core curriculum and special subject (Exploration) classes. In a supportive setting, students deepen their curiosity and creativity, develop critical thinking and group-problem skills, and become contributing members to both their school and local communities.
The Lower School experience begins in the homeroom classrooms. Dedicated teachers work with students in the foundational curriculum of reading, writing, math, and social studies.
Alicia F., Parent
When you find a community where everyone involved cares about your child as much as you do, you can’t put a price on that.
Strong Student-Teacher Relationships
Berwick Academy’s Lower School teachers are committed to bringing out the joy and passion of each child. This close teacher-student connection in our homeroom and exploration classrooms aids in our primary goal of understanding and supporting each student as both an individual and a group-oriented learner. Teachers are able to give their students personalized attention to ensure every child's academic, social, and emotional needs are being met.
Throughout our well-rounded daily program, a sense of camaraderie and engagement permeates the Lower School learning environment. Regardless of grade level, active group experiences help our students realize that they are essential members of a community in which all are invested in their well-rounded success.
Our Lower School Emphasizes:
List of 7 items.
Close parent/guardian-teacher relationships and open communication.
One of the greatest differentiators of the Lower School program is the individual care and attention teachers are able to provide their students through a personalized and challenging curriculum.Our Lower School teachers believe that creating an engaging environment, where students are known and appreciated, is essential to the growth of our youngest learners. Teachers intentionally foster critical thinking, curiosity, and a joy of learning through a balanced approach to education. They understand that learning is not limited to academic subjects and that every child learns differently. A devotion to helping children learn both from student successes and setbacks also differentiates the Lower School faculty approach.
Reading skills are strategically developed through small group instruction, (literacy groups based on ability levels), from Kindergarten through fourth grade. These guided reading groups typically meet for half hour blocks four times per week and are the basis for individualized (or group-focused) skills instruction relevant to student needs, including phonetic awareness skills, reading fluency, and comprehension strategies. Writer’s workshop and other language arts programs, including spelling and handwriting instruction, round out the Lower School program in this crucial content area.
Students read, write, and discuss a variety of fiction and non-fiction material. Our goal is to use these program materials and student-generated work in conjunction with targeted instruction to foster excitement and a lifelong love of reading and writing.
What skills are necessary for students to become proficient, engaged, life-long readers and writers?
Math classes are taught using a hands-on approach to math explorations and number sense. Through the Math In Focus program (a version of Singapore Math), students acquire a multitude of math skills, work independently and collaboratively, and share their discoveries through standard and student-created equations, problem-solving strategies, and peer discussions.
Essential Question: How can you use equations to solve real-world problems?
Social Studies units range from studying our local communities to learning about the continents through classroom investigations and related Project Approach work. These units often connect and integrate with classroom literature, library class research activities, and culminating celebrations. Within this meaningful approach to learning about local and distant cultures, past and present, greater meaning is acquired through hands-on learning and in-depth class discussions.
Essential Questions: What kind of community do we want to 'live' in at Berwick Academy? and What are some similarities and differences between our local and worldwide communities?"
Exceptional Education and Exploratory Opportunities
The Lower School experience begins in the homeroom classrooms. Dedicated teachers work with students in the foundational curriculum of reading, writing, math, and social studies/project work. Beyond the homeroom academic experience, our students engage in exploration studies in art, library/infotech, music, physical education, science, and world languages and cultures (Mandarin, Latin, and Spanish).
In an engaging and purposeful environment, students deepen their curiosity and creativity, develop critical thinking skills, and become contributing members to our Lower School community. The elementary school years are filled with learning; everything is new and curiosities are high. We nourish these meaningful, critical years for students by encouraging joy, excitement, and wonder around learning.
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Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 550 students, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 and Post-Graduates. Berwick students are from Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and several countries. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves.