Welcome to our Lower School
The Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 4 Lower School at Berwick is a nurturing environment with exceptional teachers who challenge students academically, give them personal attention, and integrate social-emotional learning into the classroom.
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 Forest, 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 connection between teacher and student in our homeroom and exploration classrooms aids in our sincere goal of understanding each student as both an individual and 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 intellectual, social, and personal growth and success.
Our Lower School Emphasizes:
List of 7 items.
Close parent-teacher relationships and open communication.
One of the greatest differentiators of the 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 a joyful, engaging environment, where students are known, 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 students learn both from their successes and setbacks also differentiates the Lower School faculty.
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 three times per week and are the basis for individualized 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 and discuss a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, as well as plays that can be used for Reader’s Theater performances. Our goal is to use these materials in conjunction with targeted instruction to foster excitement and a lifelong love of reading.
What skills are necessary for students to become proficient, engaged, life-long readers?
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.
Social Studies units range from studying our local communities to learning about the continents. These units often connect and integrate with classroom literature, library class research activities, and final projects. Within this meaningful approach to learning about local and distant cultures, past and present, greater meaning is acquired through essential questions ranging from, "What kind of community do we want to 'live' in at Berwick Academy?" to "What are some similarities and differences between 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. 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 a distinctly joyful 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 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. 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.