Lower School

The Gill St. Bernard's Lower School nurtures students innate desire to discover the world around them.

As part of our rich, relevant, and balanced curriculum, Kindergarten to 4th Graders work with homeroom teachers and our series of related arts teachers to strengthen key learning skills for academic and personal success. Each school day is designed to keep bodies and minds active as students participate in classroom lessons, experiential learning projects, supervised playtime, social-emotional education, and countless other impactful moments across our campus.

Our students love to come to school. Surrounded by a warm and supportive community, they gain the confidence and sense of belonging that are essential preludes to learning and growth.

Who We Are

Student Life

Character building, social-emotional learning, and vibrant extracurricular activities are key tenets to our balanced educational approach. 

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Related Arts Programs

Beyond homeroom classes, students work with our RA teachers to hone skills in Art, Library, Science, PE, Music, Spanish, and Technology. 

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Extended Day & After School Programs

Our series of Preschool - 4th Grade enrichment activities keeps learning active while providing flexibility for families.

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Signature Lower School Experiences

Whether it be our newest student or a member of our 4th Grade Kindness Crew, every Lower Schooler has the opportunity to dive into the school traditions and signature programs which simply set GSB apart. 

Kitchen Discovery Lab

Kitchen Discovery Lab

Located inside of the Cox Building, the Kitchen Discovery Lab is an innovative, student-centered space designed to provide our youngest learners the chance to explore, experiment, and of course, grow. From studying food from around the world in world language classes or weighing vegetables from Home Winds Farm in a math lesson to learning about nutrition and food science in their science and STREAMS courses, the new space is designed to help students apply abstract concepts through real-world application.

Learn About Our Kitchen Discovery Lab Grand Opening

WILD Wednesdays

WILD Wednesdays

WILD Wednesdays (Wonder, Innovate, Learn, Discover) is a weekly program in which 1st to 4th graders complete hands-on activities and group challenges to build their social, emotional, and academic skill sets. Weekly course rotations include Tinker Summit, Tech Summit, Friends and Feelings, and Food Explorers in the Teaching Kitchen.

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Home Winds Farm Visits

Home Winds Farm Visits

Lower School classes take regular trips across campus to Home Winds Farm to learn about the natural world. Visits include trips to the apple orchard, vegetable garden, green house, and chicken coop for fun and memorable experiential learning projects.

Discover Home Winds Farm

Biome Museum

Biome Museum

The annual Biome Museum marks the culmination of weeks of cross-curricular activities focused on a specific ecological environment. By bringing together their work in art, computers, library, music, research, science, and world languages, each grade-level is challenged to think creatively about how to best present information through displays, drawings, maps, writing, voice, and video. The project also gives students an opportunity to practice their digital literacy skills, creating iPad-guided tours of the museum and interspersing QR codes that link to resources for further learning throughout the exhibits. When parents tour the museum, fourth-grade students serve as docents, explaining the wealth of information included in the eye-catching displays.

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Learning Support

Learning Support

Beginning in our Early Childhood Program and carrying through 4th Grade, Lower Schoolers establish strong academic and personal skill sets with the help of our Learning Support Specialists. Our Learning Support team works in tandem with classroom teachers and families to design and implement tailored support plans to help individual students bolster their academic, social, and emotional development.

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Stone Soup Day

Stone Soup Day

As one of Gill St. Bernard’s most beloved school traditions, students, families, and faculty gather on campus to celebrate Stone Soup Day each October to kick off our year-long service-learning program. In preparation for the hallmark event, Lower Schoolers work together as sous chefs in the Kitchen Discovery lab to peel, dice, cut, and measure vegetables to add to the Stone Soup pot. On Stone Soup Day, the youngest member of the GSB Lower School has the honor of adding a "magic stone" to the pot to represent the power of sharing and working together before the full Lower Schoolers add their portion to the recipe. While GSB's Dining Team transforms the vegetable Stone Soup for lunch later that day, extra produce and shelf-stable goods are donated to local food pantries to spread the magic for those in need.

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Tinker Space

Tinker Space

Our Tinker Space provides students with a place to build and explore. By using a variety of materials, tools, and technology, students take part in project-based activities to learn how to think creatively, approach problems in a variety of ways, and persevere through trial and error, and foster a deeper sense of innovation.

Learn More About The Lower School Curriculum

Grade Level Highlights

Have A Question?

We're here to help! Explore our Lower School FAQs or reach out to our Admission Office at officeofadmission@gsbschool.org.

Recent Lower School News

Teacher Spotlight: Lynn Prosen

At GSB, Lynn loves exploring our beautiful campus and sharing its wonders with her inquisitive pupils. She loves the “Aha” moment, when something clicks and connects, like the thrill of a chemical reaction and the excitement of a bug, bird, or worm discovery.

Meet Lynn

Lower School Director Kyle Armstrong

Kyle Armstrong serves as the Director of Lower & Middle Schools. He holds more than 25 years of experience working in independent schools.

Prior to joining GSB, he was Associate Head for Academics for a K-8 independent school. He also has experience as a history teacher, baseball and basketball coach, and eighth-grade team leader.

Mr. Armstrong holds an M.A. from Lesley College in Massachusetts, and a B.A. in History from Trinity College in Connecticut. Kyle’s wife, Kristen, is GSB’s Upper School Librarian. They have two children at Gill.

Explore Our Lower School Curriculum

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Biome Museum

This marks the culmination of weeks of cross-curricular research, place-based learning, and exploration focused on a specific campus ecological system, such as pond, stream, wetland, forest, or farm.

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Grade 1 Visual Art

Building on the introduction of art elements in kindergarten, first-grade students continue to identify and describe concepts through various lessons.

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Grade 2 Language Arts

Second-grade students continue to become more independent as readers, exploring their interests through reading, building reading stamina, and applying reading strategies to maintain reading fluency.

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Grade 2 Mathematics

Students gain increasing mastery with addition and subtraction skills, working with numbers up to 1,000, using mental math strategies, and solving word problems.

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Grade 2 Visual Art

Students continue to incorporate elements of art and principles of design into each project, allowing them to develop more purpose within their artwork.

Read More about Grade 2 Visual Art
Grade 3 Language Arts

Students continue exploring fiction and nonfiction genres, including narratives, informational texts, fairy tales, and poetry, as they become increasingly more independent as readers.

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Grade 3 Science

Beginning with observations of the sky and weather, third graders become meteorologists using weather measurement tools to predict the weather.

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Grade 3 Social Studies

The course of study begins with a unit on Native Americans and continues to European explorers and the British colonization of North America.

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Grade 4 Language Arts

Students begin the Accelerated Reader program, which encourages independent reading and the further development of comprehension skills.

Read More about Grade 4 Language Arts
Grade 4 Mathematics

More advanced work is introduced with decimals, fractions, algebraic reasoning, and basic geometry, while also stressing mastery of skills that will enable students to thrive in later math courses: proficiency with the four operations; quick recall of math facts; and facility with estimating, rounding and judging the reasonableness of an answer.

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Grade 4 Music

Students have already explored note and rhythm reading, form, pitch, dynamics, and tempo, and they are ready for an exploration of timbre and texture.

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Grade 4 Social Studies

The curriculum includes an in-depth study of the American Revolution, the United States government, westward expansion, and immigration.

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Health and Wellness

As part of physical education, students in grades three and four have health and wellness instruction on a variety of topics, including healthy eating, the importance of physical fitness, healthy strategies for working through differences with friends, hygiene, and other developmentally appropriate topics.

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Kindergarten Science

The curriculum encourages the natural curiosity of young learners while introducing them to the science skills and tools to investigate the world around them.

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Kindergarten Visual Art

Students are introduced to the elements of art (line, shape, space, value, color, texture, and form) and learn about well-known artists and the unique styles they use to emphasize elements.

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Preschool Mathematics

Hands-on activities introduce young learners to numbers and foundational mathematical concepts, including less versus more, part versus whole, and same versus different.

Read More about Preschool Mathematics
Related Arts

Specialized teachers in art, library, music, science, technology, and Spanish comprise the Related Arts faculty.

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Singapore Math

Our math curriculum, based on the Singapore Math approach, begins in early childhood, and extends through the second year of Middle School.

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