To be a young child … what a wondrous time of life! It’s a time when developing minds have an insatiable desire to learn. During the formative years, children yearn to explore their curiosities and take great pride as they develop their skills and see their good efforts result in amazing accomplishments. Knowing this, the Lower School at Breck is a place where children cultivate their interests, learn from the wisdom of great teacher mentors, and engage in a curriculum that is broad and rigorous.
In preschool and kindergarten, our classrooms are designed with young children in mind. Bright colors, abundant materials and spaces for creative exploration stimulate the child’s sense of exploration and discovery. Grounded in the educational pedagogy of Maria Montessori, preschoolers move about their environment choosing their own activities and following their own inclinations. Teachers work alongside children as they develop their cognitive skills. In preschool, children begin the modern language sequence and become scientists in their environment! Step into the world of kindergarten where students strengthen their understanding of how words work, become familiar with story sequence and engage in persuasive writing. They become experts on the human body and germs! In early childhood, teachers know the importance of balancing large group activities with independent work. They create opportunities for children to exercise their both sides of their brain. And they understand the value of providing time for purposeful, imaginative play.
At the heart of the Lower School program is a comprehensive curriculum. In first grade, reading and writing take center stage. In small groups, students talk about characters, discuss the author’s point-of-view and use their prior knowledge to deepen their reading skills. Narrative stories, non-fiction writing and poetry are among the genre first graders write. By fourth grade, students are reading within the content areas to learn more about regions of the United States and people whose lives have been significant in our history. They use their growing minds as mathematicians to solve complex problems. Scientists emerge in the Lower School … just ask any third grader to talk about birds they’ve observed at the feeders. Breck is technology rich — from iPads to laptops, students use computer resources to augment their learning while learning how to be responsible tech users. Beyond the classroom, Lower School students are immersed in Chinese or Spanish, learn to play the recorder and African/Japanese drums, paint like Mondrarin and study the history of Modern Art, participate in skating and swimming as units, and develop an appreciation for the many faiths practiced in our community. Our nationally recognized C.A.R.E. program focuses on building character, our fourth-grade leadership program focuses on building confidence, and our service learning program focuses on building empathy. Developing the mind, the body and the heart is the essence of Lower School!
Critical to the education of a young child are the relationships he/she forms with others. At Breck, our Lower School students are the benefactors of being in a P-12 one-campus community. So many “buddy” relationships exist between Lower, Middle and Upper School students. One of the most poignant is that of the first grade–senior buddy relationship. Imagine being a third grader and listening to a pair of juniors explain their advanced science research project … it’s a pretty powerful experience! The relationship between students and teachers is the most essential ingredient to a successful learning experience. In Lower School, this relationship can be described in one word: personal! Teachers know each student’s strengths, interests, and challenges — and use this information to guide their work. Our students see their teachers as knowledgeable, creative, and compassionate … and they trust them as advocates.
Why choose Breck for your child?
- For the value of a rigorous, comprehensive, and relevant curriculum.
- For a notable teaching faculty.
- For the personal relationship that develops between teachers and students.
- For the strong sense of community that is fostered on one P-12 campus.
- For the opportunities that enrich the learning experience beyond the school.
- For traditions, innovations, and the spirit of perpetual learning!
I invite you to come inside our classrooms and have a look around. You’ll be glad you did!
Lower School Director