At Berkeley Carroll, preschool, kindergarten, and elementary grade level students enjoy exploring multiple approaches to solving problems. Their teachers are expert guides who help them navigate the landscape of elementary learning. Our students know the facts, algorithms and vocabulary, not simply because they’ve been taught, but because they’ve built an understanding of each topic which they will expand on each year.
Project work is an important part of our private school curriculum at all grade levels and teachers from all disciplines collaborate to plan learning experiences for the students. Our unique Integrated Learning Blocks provide time when all the specialist teachers (science, art, aquatics, music, PE, dance, information technology and STEAM) are able to lead or join in classroom activities and lend their particular perspective and expertise. Spanish is a part of all Lower School classrooms every day.
We recognize that academic learning is intertwined with the social and emotional growth of our students and we strive to create an environment that promotes the development of the whole child. Students learn best when their classrooms are places where they feel safe, challenged and joyful and where the adults around them are supported in their commitment to provide such a setting. The Lower School, including our private kindergarten, preschool, and elementary school, has adopted the Responsive Classroom approach. Practices including the Morning Meeting, Classroom Rule Creation, Interactive Modeling, Positive Teacher Language, Collaborative Problem-solving and Logical Consequences have solidified a consistent climate and set of expectations that create an optimal setting for learning.
Our interactions as a community are guided by the Lower School rules, which students sign each September. By signing, the students agree to:
- Take care of ourselves and be safe.
- Be kind, considerate, and polite toward others.
- Take care of our school and our materials.
- Learn from our mistakes!
Walking through the halls and classrooms of our early childhood and elementary buildings, one encounters children who understand and feel ownership of their classroom rules and routines and who feel secure in their environment. Our students are given many opportunities to work and play cooperatively with one another and to develop the confidence to assert themselves in academic and social situations. A positive approach to discipline, with the goal of self-control, allows children to fix and learn from their mistakes.
We strive to create an inclusive community in the Lower School through explicit anti-bias curriculum on each grade level. This curriculum provides students with opportunities to learn about the topics related to race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality and other identifiers in age-appropriate ways. The goal of the program is to prevent the development of biases by helping children explore their personal identity as they come to recognize and respect the identity of others; we want each and every child to be affirmed in their experience and to value the diversity of perspectives within our community and our society. Our hope is to give students the tools they need to grow up healthy and strong in our often inequitable society.
Our youngest students begin by learning about one another, their families, and the school community. As they grow older, students learn about the broader world--the neighborhood, the city, and our country--and begin to develop an understanding for the ways various aspects of our identity shape our lives, both today and historically. Our objective is that students will seek to learn about and embrace a diversity of perspectives as they recognize and appreciate differences among people. We aim to help children recognize inequity and the harm it does as we provide them with language and skills to work against bias, prejudice and injustice.