The Lower School spans grades K-5 and immerses children in a developmentally responsive curriculum that addresses the intellectual, social, and emotional needs of each student. Teaching and learning is organized around topics and activities that are meaningful, interesting, and relevant to children at each stage of their development.
Through weekly classroom meetings, Lower School students are encouraged to see themselves as important members of the school community and society as a whole. Integrated school-wide projects promote cooperation and problem solving skills and give older students leadership opportunities by mentoring our younger students.
The rich and rigorous experiences students have in the Lower School fully prepare them for the academic and social challenges of middle school.
We are also pleased to offer the option for K-8 students to enroll in the After School Care Program and enrichment activities. The program provides care, homework assistance and optional activities for Lower & Middle School students from the time classes dismiss until 5 p.m.
We implement a scientifically-based methodology to reading and writing instruction. Lessons utilize quality children’s literature and multi-sensory decoding, spelling, and handwriting techniques. Throughout the grades children engage in extensive and intensive reading of a wide spectrum of notable picture books, novels, non-fiction trade books, poems, and short stories. Our highly effective approach helps students become joyfully literate while building vital literacy skills.
Our curriculum teaches children to reason mathematically and apply their skills and understandings to purposeful real-world problems. We believe children must explore, make conjectures, gather evidence, and construct arguments to fully develop an understanding of mathematics. Arithmetic skills are mastered through problem-solving activities and games.
Through “hands-on” scientific explorations, children are taught to think like scientists. They observe, question, collect information, construct explanations, and test those explanations in a variety of ways. Scientific discourse and reflective thinking are promoted during each science lesson, making lessons “minds-on”.
Our hands-on multidisciplinary curriculum is organized around key concepts about humankind and the world. We believe children form developmentally appropriate understandings about our world, its organizations, cultures, and history through active and meaningful experiences. Our social studies curriculum endeavors to help students understand their roots, see their connectedness to the past, recognize the commonality of people and communities, and accept full participation in our democratic society.
In the lower school art studio, students are introduced to a variety of mediums including clay building, painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage to provide them with the building blocks to evolve into independent artists.
Lower School music classes explore creative expression through movement, singing, and playing instruments. Using the highest quality material from many cultures and traditions, both new and old, our students develop a strong appreciation for music and most importantly, a strong sense of themselves as musicians.
The Bay Ridge Prep Suzuki violin program offers students weekly private lessons and group classes beginning in kindergarten. Each student is provided with a high quality instrument that they can use in school and at-home. Throughout the year, parents are invited to attend educational classes on Suzuki pedagogy and violin technique. Students are given the opportunity to perform with an accompanist at the winter and spring recitals.
During theater workshops children experiment with music, props, and sound effects to create a theatrical world. Children use improvisational techniques and familiar stories to express themselves as they create characters, settings, and stretch their imaginations.
More information about our Arts Department can be found at the below link.
Children in grades K-5 learn vocabulary and syntax through games, songs, storytelling and art projects. This joyful approach gives the children confidence to read, speak, and write Spanish without becoming self-conscious. The class instills a love of language with practical, playful instruction three times per week.
Formal chess instruction begins in kindergarten. Learning to play chess helps children think rationally, develop patience, and improve problem solving skills. Once children become competent chess players they can participate in tournaments.
The physical education program cultivates the physical, social, and emotional development of children through creative movement, dance, aquatics and game play. The program gives children the confidence to enjoy a variety of physical activities throughout their lives.
Since 2011 Bay Ridge Prep has partnered with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence to implement their integrated social/emotional intelligence approach called RULER. Studies show that children with greater emotional awareness have more satisfying relationships, better focus, healthier habits, increased creativity, and perform better on academic tasks. By using tools such as a classroom charter, mood meter, meta-moment, and conflict blueprint teachers help children to recognize their emotions and the emotions of others, understand the causes and consequences of emotions, label and express these emotions effectively, and regulate them to create more compassionate and confident citizens.