Academics
Lower School
Homeroom

Kindergarten and First Grade

Kindergarten & First Grade Team

The Kindergarten-First Grade Team is a spiraling union of the Kindergarten and First Grade programs.
The Kindergarten and First Grade Team is a cohesive, collaborative program intended to diversify the student experience both socially and academically. 

This union of K and 1 creates various opportunities for mixed-grade student interaction. Through varied hands-on, thematic units, students access overarching questions at their level of ability and interest in areas ranging from social studies to reading. This model allows Berwick to build a stronger, larger learning community. It also provides more opportunities for differentiated instruction, collaboration, and innovation within the Kindergarten and First Grade classrooms as well as the Lower School as a whole.This union also allows us to offer a K-1 Flex classroom on a given year. 
 

Essential Questions

The social and academic flexibility that this model provides allows children to develop their self-awareness, confidence, and risk-taking abilities.

Skills and Enduring Understandings

In both Kindergarten and first grade, our teaching team recognizes that academic and social-emotional development varies with each child. As such, our dedicated teaching teams promote a blend of small-group and whole-group experiences as well as cooperative projects. Students continue their exploration and growth beyond the homeroom classroom as they enjoy full use of our campus facilities for art, health/wellness, library, music, physical education, science and world language classes. Additionally, the whole-child learning experience is sustained through a strong school and home partnership where teachers and parents work closely together.   
Kindergarten students take formative steps into their Berwick experience. They arrive each day excited to join a joyful and nurturing environment that supports social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development. We provide cross-divisional experiences that are designed to incorporate students into the Berwick community.
The intentional balance of creative and academic instruction in Kindergarten is presented to draw students in and immerse them in our thematic units of study. Our classroom structure provides students with the opportunity to gain independence and responsibility. We actively teach and support the children in the discovery of reading, writing, math, social sciences, and STEAM activities (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics). In addition to academic opportunities, we offer various forms of play including the exploration of nature, dramatic play, games, and puzzles. The students take ownership of their learning environment by fulfilling daily jobs and responsibilities, as well as moving through the classrooms with purpose, independence, and teacher support.
Our first grade curriculum emphasizes reading, writing, and mathematics as being paramount to a foundational program. Additionally, the students enthusiastically making many community connections with their first grade and kindergarten peers in social sciences and other special projects. Instruction is differentiated to provide individualized levels of support and to meet the educational needs of our young learners. Small group literacy and math support classes ensure appropriate instruction for our students. Our goal is to foster confidence in academics and to develop foundational social skills across the curriculum.
 
First grade students build a firm foundation in essential skills while continuing their enthusiastic approach to exploratory education developed in the previous Lower School grades.

SAMPLE Daily Schedule

Meet the Teachers

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. Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.