Lower School | Primary–Gr. 4

Director's Blog

Latest Blog Posts

List of 3 news stories.

  • Books & Beyond

    I often hear parents talk about the magic of learning to read—to decode the words on the page—and this is without doubt an incredible process to observe and to be a part of. But although it may seem like magic, learning to read is a skill, and there is a series of steps we can take to teach all of our students how to read. For some, it comes quickly and with seemingly little effort, while others march along at a slower pace. But each one of them can and will learn to read.
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  • Mindset: Is Yours "Fixed" or "Growth"?

    And perhaps more important, which do you want to develop in your children?
    Carol Dweck of Stanford University has dedicated much of her life to researching how our beliefs about our ability to learn can impact our learning and achievement. It harkens back to the notion that if you just believe in yourself you can accomplish almost anything! But Dweck is very careful to explain that this alone will not suffice; in fact it takes hours upon hours (10,000 if you look at Malcolm Gladwell's work) to gain expertise in a skill. How then, does this notion of "mindset" play into this and why is it important? This is the topic that started off our recent Lower School faculty meeting.
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  • The Importance of Community

    What makes for a positive elementary school experience? Is it the chatter of a child who has just learned to read? Or the spontaneous counting by twos at the dinner table? Is it the spring in a little boy's step as he marches off to class on his own? Or the overheard game of "school" where the children are sitting quietly and listening attentively? I would say it is all of these things – but more important, I believe that the very best elementary school experience rests on the quality and strength of the school's community.
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Honor Taft
Lower School Director

Taft holds a master's degree in educational leadership from Columbia University Teachers College and a master's degree in education from the Bank Street College of Education.
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a vigorous, meaningful and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.