Growing as Lifelong Learners
Upon entering Level 3, students experience the thrill of moving into Liberty Hall, where the excitement of learning is enhanced by a team of supportive, caring teachers who continue to reinforce perseverance, while fostering students' growing independence as lifelong learners.
At Levels 3, 4, and 5, the curriculum builds with extensive grammar instruction, writing essays and reports, studying Greek and Roman history, developing an appreciation for America's heritage, and understanding the role of scientific inquiry. Young scholars develop self-reliance as learners, while reading independently and pursuing topics of personal interest.
The fine arts program develops both individual creativity and an appreciation for musical and artistic history. To further develop language skills, French is introduced at Level 3 and studied through Level 5.
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.
Having learned to decode in the Primary School, 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 rigorous 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 3-5. 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 and the language of math are emphasized as students develop into abstract mathematical thinkers.
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.
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.
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.
In Levels Four and Five the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome are studied as well as the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China, attentive to their influence on western civilization, particularly in the United States.
Students develop an ear for French while acquiring correct French 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 French 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 French in meaningful ways. The primary focus is on speaking and listening comprehension. The secondary focus is on recognizing the written word(s).
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.
The Lower School music program provides opportunities for students to continue growing in musicianship. Students actively participate through singing, playing classroom instruments, reading music, composing, dancing, and performing music with a choral emphasis. The curriculum is taught through the Kodaly approach. The Kodaly method uses songs and games to introduce rhythmic and melodic concepts for music literacy. Music appreciation is encouraged through guided listening to symphonic music in class at all levels. Level 4 attends a Milwaukee Symphony Youth Concert to enhance this appreciation of symphonic music. A digital piano lab enhances the broad array of musical experiences available to all Lower School students as they continue the keyboarding skills begun in Levels 1 and 2.
During the first semester, students in Levels 3-5 apply vocal music techniques to classic Christmas and Holiday music, including folk songs and carols from around the world. This repertoire is presented in a traditional Christmas program on the Thursday evening before the Christmas Break.
Level 4 and 5 students perform as a Chorus, presenting short programs of patriotic songs, folk songs, and good choral repertoire throughout the school year. Events include Constitution Day, Grandparents Day, Thanksgiving, Presentation Day and Awards Day.
Level 3 also contributes songs during some morning assemblies.
Instrumental Music Lessons
Professional music instructors come to the Lower School to provide individual instrumental music lessons after school. This service is offered 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. Youngsters in Levels 3, 4 and 5 participate in fitness testing and have the opportunity to improve their own level of fitness. Organized sports are introduced along with the basic skills and rules involved. Students continue to learn important social skills and the sportsmanship needed to work effectively with others.
A Few Notes
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.
The BA Way
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.