Lower School

Preschool student learning with Ms. McCool

The early years in a child's life is filled with wonder, excitement, and joyfulness. At Breck, we honor this time by immersing children in play to unleash imagination, develop skills, and instill a love of learning. 

Our Lower School learning environment provokes wonder, stimulates creativity, and generates an innovative spirit for our students in preschool through grade 4. The Lower School academic program is comprehensive in scope and content; engaging students in literacy, mathematics, social studies, and science along with world language, music, visual arts, religion, physical education, mindfulness, engineering, and technology. With an eye on the future, we ensure our students are skillful collaborators, problem-solvers, and communicators, and character education and service learning instill an understanding of empathy and respect for others. Together with a research-informed faculty, Lower School students become independent thinkers and confident leaders. We know these foundational years are truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it is our privilege to partner with families through this important time.


The following information is presented in an effort to provide an overview of the academic program in the Lower School. Our curriculum evolves as we bridge research with practice in teaching and learning. 

Integrated Curricular Programs

Mind, Brain, and Education

What contributes to being a successful learner? In collaboration with The Peter Clark Center for Mind, Brain, and Education, Lower School students are introduced to how the brain learns, practices visual thinking strategies, develops a growth mindset, and learns about the importance of self-reflection. Teachers have been trained in a variety of strategies and engage in on-going professional learning to bridge research and practice, integrating mind-brain education in the classroom. As students move through Lower School, they increase their understanding of themselves as learners and develop skills to communicate their needs independently. 

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Leadership

Developing an understanding and respect for ourselves and others, is an important aspect of growing. Students learn that a just and equitable world for all requires each individual to contribute to creating a sense of belonging. In collaboration with the Melrose Family Center for Leadership and Equity, Lower School teachers create an environment in the classroom for students to learn about topics related to diversity, explore social issues, and develop critical thinking skills. Children’s literature is often used to share information and prompt conversation. Breck’s Community Commitments serve to provide direction for the integration of DEI in our classrooms. Lower School students are given multiple opportunities to develop leadership skills. From classroom jobs to serving in the community, leading activities to advocating for ideas, students learn to speak their voices and share leadership in the division. 

Social Curriculum

For young children, the Social Curriculum is an anchor for learning. Skills including responsibility, respect, self-regulation, recognizing and expressing feelings, practicing patience, and demonstrating kindness and gratitude are all developed in Lower School. Programs such as Responsive Classroom, Mindfulness, and Zones of Regulation give students the knowledge and skills needed for positive social skill development. The C.A.R.E. Program (Character Always, Respect Everyday) uses themes to highlight character traits and values we believe are important for students to develop. The Lower School counselor works alongside classroom teachers to support the social curriculum through classroom lessons, small group activities, and individual coaching. 

Lower School Student Life

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