Heather Caponi is Head of the Primary School. Primary School Levels A, B, 1, and 2 are located in Constitution Hall.
*Ellis Island Day profile in Brookfield Neighbors Magazine, July 2017.*Primary School profile in Brookfield Neighbors Magazine, May 2017.
In the Primary School, our curriculum focuses on educational basics - phonics, reading, grammar, mathematics, history, science and Spanish. In small classes, experienced teachers focus on what is best for each student, and in this nurturing environment our scholars begin to develop a lifelong love of learning.
Our Little Knights Program introduces three-year-olds to a classroom environment, focusing on fine and gross motor development, social and communication skills, and learning through play. An enrichment program for future Level A (K4) students, Little Knights is open to children turning 3 years old by September 1, 2019. Little Knights curriculum is a prelude to Level A. Morning, half-day program (8:15 am - 12:15 pm); extended care available until 3:15 pm.
Level A scholars learn quickly that they are valued members of our BA community. They arrive at school ready to start learning at 8:15 am for the morning session or 11:15 am for the afternoon session.
Our youngest scholars begin their day with a special group time. Students come together to say the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lower School Prayer. Time is then spent listening to quality literature read by the teacher, discussing the calendar and daily weather. Students learn about our world and each other through conversation, songs, and poetry.
The day then moves to "workshop" where children independently complete tasks that reinforce academic concepts while the teacher gives each student individualized instruction. These workshops consist of many hands-on experiences such as using scales to weigh objects for comparison and the use of colorful bears and blocks to create patterns. We may use shaving cream to create snow! We don't mind getting dirty! Other workshop activities may include handwriting or phonics practice. When workshop is complete, there is always time for free play.
Like all good scholars, we use our desks made especially for 4 year olds. At our desks, students listen and watch the teacher demonstrate and practice proper handwriting skills, phonics instruction and even spelling lessons!
After all of our hard work, it is snack time! Our students bring in a healthy snack from home. As students eat their snack, their teacher reads an engaging story.
Let's head outside for recess! Weather permitting, Level A takes time to play outside. Fresh air! Then it is off to one of our special classes. Each day of the week is different, but once per week students have 30 minutes of art, music, physical education, Spanish or library.
Level A is a half-day pre-kindergarten program for children who are four years old by September 1. We use phonics to teach reading and a wide variety of hands-on activities to teach number sense and counting skills. Time is given to enrichment subjects, including music, art, physical education, and library use. Story time and free play are also part of each day in Level A. Level A is offered in both morning and afternoon sessions, with options to attend the Peter Rabbit Program and/or use before- or after-school care to extend the day to suit a family's schedule.
This optional educational and recreational program is designed to coordinate with the half-day Level A (pre-kindergarten) program. This program is available from 7:30 am to 3:15 pm each day. Children in the morning Level A class may attend the afternoon Peter Rabbit program. Likewise, children enrolled in the afternoon Level A class may attend the morning Peter Rabbit program.
At Brookfield Academy, reading and writing are at the core of learning in the Primary and Lower School. Acquiring this skill, which is a pre-requisite for so much later learning, receives a great deal of attention in the Academy's foundational divisions. All teachers share literature with their students each day.
Students are taught to read using phonics, and comprehension skills are fostered through direct instruction of reading strategies. Reading time-honored classics extends each student's knowledge of good literature. Vocabulary lists are generated from the classic books read at each level. The weekly spelling words used in all levels emphasize the relationship between phonics and spelling. The Six Traits of Writing are the foundation for the writing curriculum which includes creative writing, personal narratives, research papers, and 'how-to' compositions. Grammar instruction is explicit and includes the eight parts of speech. Understanding grammar usage, including clauses, verbals, and gerunds, is demonstrated by diagramming sentences.
Math is a core subject at Brookfield Academy, beginning with the fundamentals in all levels of the Primary and Lower School. Math concepts are taught in an engaging yet traditional manner, with the focus on learning and mastering basic facts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in the early years.
Singapore Primary Mathematics materials are used in Levels 1-5. Math instruction includes students working with manipulatives in sample problems for each new concept. This is followed by visual representations of concrete examples of how number operations work. In solving both one step and multi-step problems the Singapore math method of model drawing is used. Logical reasoning is emphasized as students develop into abstract mathematical thinkers.
At Brookfield Academy, the history and geography curricula motivate and excite students to learn. Throughout the Primary and Lower School, students explore a wide variety of topics. The lessons range from colonial American life to famous Americans to immigration to an intense study of the framing of the US Constitution of the United States. Democratic principles of freedom and a focus on the star of heritage are themes throughout the Primary and Lower Schools. Map reading skills are introduced and developed during these years and every Lower School scholar learns US geography with an emphasis on Wisconsin.
Earth Science, Physical Science, and Life Science are explored at each level in the Primary and Lower School curriculum. Teachers seek to capitalize on the student's innate curiosity about the world. One might say that science is like indoor recess at Brookfield Academy.
Our experience has taught us that enthusiasm for science is driven by observation and experiments and our students have plenty of opportunity with both. The scientific method is taught and followed whether with plants or planets, simple machines or the laws of motion, ecosystems, electricity, or energy. Scales, microscopes, telescopes, electrical circuits give the "hands-on" experience students love and from which they learn about the world around us.
Field Trip Science Curriculum Connections: Each of the three terms in Level B consists of a specific science unit that fosters an early understanding of the scientific method.The science curriculum is integrated throughout the day into ourscholars’ reading, writing and art experiences.Field trips in the Level B Travel Series provide another way for students to expand their learning with adventures that reinforce, enrich, and extend the Level B science curriculum.
Students develop an ear for Spanish while acquiring correct Spanish pronunciation through the repetition of songs and poems, as well as daily dialogues. Using context clues students acquire a basic conversational vocabulary.
Because of the emphasis placed on grammar at BA, the fundamental principles of Spanish grammar are readily taught. Students are easily able to note similarities and differences in the structure of the two languages. This creates a solid base for all future foreign language learning.
Students participate in individual, partner, and group learning activities designed to have them using and responding to Spanish in meaningful ways. The primary focus is on speaking and listening comprehension. The secondary focus is on recognizing the written word(s).
Students learn to appreciate literature, both fiction and non-fiction, in order to become lifelong readers. Children participate in a variety of activities, introducing them to new vocabularies, favorite authors, and beautiful illustrations.
In Levels A and B, students practice choosing books in order to develop reading skills. Level 1 and 2, students develop library search skills, which include sequencing, alphabetical order, the Dewey Decimal System, and using the computer catalog. In Levels 2, students begin keyboarding and word processing. Here, as elsewhere in the Academy, computer technology supports the curriculum and student work in the classroom. Constitution Hall Library page.
Our arts education program helps students to develop aesthetic knowledge and skills, fosters personal development and enhances quality of life. The aim of the art program is to teach for creativity - to have students seek questions, develop ideas, problem solve, and to approach tasks from different perspectives.
It is an energetic environment in which children can grow, create, explore, and experience fulfillment through their creativity. Students develop confidence and a sense of pride in their uniqueness and accomplishments.
In the Primary School, Creative Drama emphasizes movement and storymaking activities from children’s literature, daily life, and personal history. Students learn audience etiquette, as well as basic acting through pantomime, improvisation techniques, and presentation skills. In the Lower School, students continue developing dramatic vocabulary, skills, and a cultural knowledge about theatre through reader’s theatre, short scenes from American History, and Greek mythology.
The Primary School music program provides opportunities for students to develop musically through singing and playing classroom instruments. The use of movement and dance, as well as xylophones and other percussion instruments creates an environment of active participation as students learn to read, write and perform music. In levels 1 and 2 piano keyboarding skills are introduced in our digital keyboard lab. Students are guided in listening to symphonic music as they identify musical instruments and learn fundamental music concepts such as beat, rhythm, melody, form, tempo, and dynamics.
Students in the Primary School sing for special events throughout the year. We celebrate Constitution Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Awards Day with songs and poems, and we contribute songs during some morning assemblies.
Instrumental music instructors come to Brookfield Academy to provide music lessons after school. This service is provided as a convenience for Brookfield Academy families. Click here for more information on after-school music lessons.
Physical Education at Brookfield Academy aims to develop a lifelong interest and proficiency in movement skills. In Levels A and B, students practice basic motor and manipulative skills, such as running, jumping, kicking, throwing, and catching. Youngsters in Levels 1 and 2 participate in fitness testing and have the opportunity to improve their own level of fitness. Organized sports are introduced and students continue to learn important social skills needed to work effectively with others.
Homework is an important part of the Brookfield Academy program. Parents in Lower School sign their children's homework, so they're aware of their child's progress through the curriculum and can help encourage good study habits. All parents are welcome to visit classes to share special knowledge and skills with students.
Brookfield Academy's small classes and family atmosphere make it a nurturing and safe environment for learning. The teachers are caring. They strive to model good citizenship to their scholars and a genuine concern for the needs of others. Outside the classroom, students learn to play together and build lasting friendships.
The Narnia program provides supervised care and enrichment from 3:15 pm until 6:00 pm. After-school lessons in foreign languages, music, and enrichment activities are available in the After-School Enrichment Program. Click here for more information.
See and hear why parents choose Brookfield Academy as the perfect fit for their student. Learn about who we are and what we believe as a school, and hear comments from parents and students who know our program firsthand. Discover all the exciting things about BA!
To view our Primary School/Lower School video, click here and watch "Lower School."
At Brookfield Academy, the curriculum is challenging, yet teachers are there to support students along the way. Experienced, caring, creative teachers inspire successful young learners!
To learn more about our Primary School teachers, click here.
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For more information contact: Mary Ricci at Mary.Ricci@brookfieldacademy.org.