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. These years are a pivotal time in a child’s school life and set the stage for future learning. Knowing this, the Lower School is a place where children are encouraged to ask questions, engage in a challenging academic curriculum, cultivate friendships, and develop an understanding of the importance of contributing to community.
In Lower School, we believe young children learn best in an environment that is stimulating and supportive. We value and respect each individual child. To this end, our students are in classrooms where intimate relationships are formed, both among peers and with teachers. The trust that is established enables young children to see risk-taking as an opportunity for growth, and find that their voice matters. We believe in the value of creativity and imagination. After all, research affirms play, both purposeful and unstructured, is vital to a child’s growth and development. We believe in careful observation and focused conversation to know our student’s interests, to chart their development, and to personalize the learning experience. We believe in giving students the opportunity to work/learn together . . . for it is in collaboration that children practice the important skills of listening, compromise, and perspective taking.
The Lower School curriculum is broad and comprehensive. Beginning in preschool, students learn a world language . . . Mandarin or Spanish. They study the artistic works of Picasso and Calder, and learn to craft and appreciate art. Lower School students are avid readers, with over 20,000 pieces of literature available to them in our library. In their journey, students learn about geology, they become researchers, math becomes more than numbers and right answers, the design process comes alive via STEAM and project-based learning, and the world around them comes into their lives. Imagine your child writing a persuasive letter, dissecting owl pellets, learning yoga, and playing drums from Africa. The curriculum is open-ended, giving each student the opportunity to learn at a level of complexity that is ‘just right’ for him or her. We want students to not only develop proficient skills, but also to develop deep conceptual understandings. Field trips around the city/state, guest speakers, and rich classroom resources enhance each student’s curricular experience. In addition to the academic core, Lower School students learn how to develop friendships, practice mindfulness, resolve conflict, and develop a growth mindset. Our nationally recognized C.A.R.E. program supports the development of strong character traits, and leadership skills are built through opportunities to serve on Student Council, as admissions ambassadors, and in committee work. Developing the mind, body, and heart is the essence of the Lower School experience.
Lower School students enjoy relationships with teachers who are experts in their field. Our teaching faculty have advanced degrees in education and more than 15 years of collective experience. They are deeply committed to each student in their care. What sets them apart from other educators is their profound interest in professional development . . . our teachers have studied around the world, engage in classes to further their knowledge of research-informed practices, and visit other schools to gather new ideas. All of this learning comes back to enrich the experience for our students.
Parents often ask, “Why should we invest in Breck for our young child?” Five simple reasons . . .
- For the value of a challenging, comprehensive and developmentally-appropriate curriculum.
- For teachers who are experts in the field and who use their knowledge of each child to guide instruction.
- For the personal relationships, sense of community, and shared values that develop among students, teachers, and parents in a P-12 community on one campus.
- For a balance of tradition and innovation in all aspects of the school.
- To give your child the "gift of the best education" . . . a gift that keeps on giving!
I invite you to come inside our classrooms and have a look around. You’ll be glad you did!
Lower School Director