Welcome to the BCA Lower School
We nurture faith and follow a rich, comprehensive curriculum to build skills and foster curiosity and creativity. Here we engage busy minds through hands-on projects while building a strong foundation for the future.
Everything we do is rooted in LOVE: Love for God, Love for Learning, and Love for Others.
Love for God:
The Bible says the greatest commandment is to love God with our whole heart. In the Lower School, teachers and students alike learn to put God first in all we do. Students begin to develop the roots of a strong Christian worldview as they are taught by faithful teachers integrating Biblical truth into each curriculum area.
Love for Learning:
BCA provides a safe and nurturing environment that enables children to reach their full potential. Our highly skilled faculty models a love for learning and engages students in learning activities that are motivating and challenging. Students grow strong roots of inquisitiveness, organization and reasoning, which are foundational to academic success.
Love for Others:
The second greatest commandment is to love others. At BCA, character development and Biblical peacemaking skills are emphasized as we live and work in community with each other. Opportunities for service are frequent as we seek to be a blessing to others.
Lower School Curriculum
K–4 students are taught in newly designed Learning Labratories! The curriculum includes English Language Arts & Literacy (reading, phonics, spelling, writing), math, science, social studies, Bible, music, physical education, health, art, Spanish and technology.
Q. What is a Learning Laboratory?
A: It’s an exciting setting where students’ burning questions are the organizing principle of the curriculum; where teachers organize those questions into themes that students explore through projects, research, experimentation, and artistic endeavors; and where learning experiences are designed to help student methodically accomplish learning goals and standards over time. Adopting a model known as “mixed age education,” students can be grouped flexibly by interest or aptitude, not only by age, and instruction can respond to students’ own developmental pace. On-and-off- campus activities connect students’ learning to the real world and help children develop a sense of context and vision. It’s all about students “leading by serving with passion, skill, integrity, and faith.”
Q. Sounds interesting. How does it work?
A: Students in what are currently known as grades K-4 will be grouped into two Learning Labs, each staffed by a teacher. Students “learning to read” will learn in Lab One; students “reading to learn” will learn in Lab Two. Teachers will compose interdisciplinary thematic units around students’ curiosity questions and will create learning activities designed specifically to develop students’ skills relative to defined milestones – skills that will be regularly assessed. Arts specialists will lead students in artistic activities that support the thematic learning and promote artistic growth. Other adults – “lab partners” – will surround and support the endeavor, with parents and community members offering special opportunities that support students’ thematic learning: field trips to their workplaces, projects with real-world application, equipment to use, and so forth. Even high school students will have opportunities to contribute as mentors, buddies, and guest teachers. An administrator will team teach, provide preparatory time for teachers, and coordinate the contributions of “lab partners.”
Q. Has this kind of thing been tried before?
A: Yes, and the research indicates that a mixed-age model prepares students academically just as well as a traditional grade-based model – and students in mixed-age classrooms outperform their peers on effective measures such as social development, social interaction, levels of aspiration, and enjoyment of school.