Focusing on “their spark,” or what interests them, the recent fourth grade collaboration focused on how kids can help achieve the UN sustainability goals in their own communities and lives.
At the Lower School, students are provided with a variety of special programs that encourage community building, helping others, having fun, and learning about themselves and the world they live in.
A variety of school traditions mark the BB&N calendar at the Lower School—some 100 years old, some a great deal newer; some part of the academic fabric of the school, others part of the social fabric. These traditions include:
Maypole – A fixture on the spring calendar dating back to Buckingham School days.
Museum of Fine Arts Day – BB&N artists and their creations take over the galleries at the MFA during this daylong event to showcase the school’s longstanding museum partnership, which enhances arts study for all grades.
Circus – Games, rides, entertainment, crafts—just about everything you’d expect of a circus, minus the lions. This nearly 60-year-old annual event, held at the Lower School, raises money for financial aid.
Soul Cake – 5th graders don Colonial-era togs and perform music of the period at this event held around (and influenced by) Halloween.
Faculty vs. Students Kickball game – Kids and teachers put their best feet forward in this much-anticipated and fiercely contested event, a late-spring rite of passage for Lower Schoolers.
The Mitten Tree – The spirit of giving reigns supreme as children from every grade at the Lower School collect new hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves to donate to individuals within our community who are in need.
For the most updated information regarding BB&N's service learning program, please visit the all-school service learning hub.
Students throughout every grade of the Lower School participate in a variety of community service or service learning projects and activities such as recycling and environmental awareness campaigns; kindergarten visits to Cambridge Assisted Living Home; 6th graders visiting local daycare centers to read to children; canned food and hat/mitten drives, as well as UNICEF and Book Bonanza fund raising. Children learn to give of themselves, along with developing organizational skills and cooperative work ethics as they complete goals that are meaningful and support others in need.
This four-day/three-night camping trip for sixth graders takes place in October at a camp in Vermont. The children are instructed in the use of rope courses and other challenge activities. During Camp Hulbert, students have the opportunity to practice group communication and problem-solving during the use of low-course elements on the first day, and advancing to high-course elements on the second day. Teachers accompany the students on this trip and participate fully in the experience.
View more photos in the slideshow below:
In the Lower School, we celebrate diversity in many ways. Families share traditions through presentations, food, and celebrations at the grade level as well as schoolwide. In our Social Studies curriculum, children explore cultures, ideas, and beliefs of our world. BB&N’s Multicultural Director, with the help of our diversity committee, plans many events throughout the year such as Black History Month activities, Chinese New Year celebrations, and our Affinity Lunch program. Through all these varied activities, our children learn tolerance, acceptance of others, and the joy of sharing each others’ cultures.
Lower School students have opportunities to join clubs and organizations that focus on the arts, community service, multicultural awareness, and other interests. Participation in clubs is a great way to get to know others with common interests, help the community, or just have a good time doing something you enjoy.
Affinity Lunch takes place one Wednesday per month. It is for all who identify as students of color in grades 1-6 and who choose to take part. Students attend Affinity Lunch with their peers in those grades who share the same, or similar racial identity. Those who are in the classroom eating lunch will be having informal discussions with their teachers and peers around the theme of identity, inclusion, and acceptance.
Asian Cultural Society
ACS is an organization comprised of students, parents and teachers. Each year, they organize a dinner event with music and dance. Everyone in the BB&N community is welcome!
One World Club
A club for sixth graders which supports community service projects such as collecting for UNICEF, planning a Thanksgiving assembly, and raising money for children in foreign countries.
Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 students who play an orchestral instrument are encouraged to join the Lower School Orchestra. Younger students may join by invitation. The group typically performs at concerts, assemblies, and the Grade 5 & 6 Closing Ceremony.
Banana Splits supports children from families who are going through—or have gone through—separation and/or divorce. Grade 1-6 students in the group meet for lunch twice a month. Student attendance is optional and is a decision for the family to make together. The meeting is not a therapy session. Much like other affinity groups, the goal is to provide a supportive and safe peer-group. With regard to separation and divorce, the goal is to demystify and remove the discomfort many kids have around family transition and their unique situation. Banana Splits is a well-known lunch gathering at school and students tend to be very open about participation.