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THE MIDDLE SCHOOL  >    Upper Elementary

Upper Elementary

Upper Elementary is grades 4-6.


The transition from Lower Elementary to Upper Elementary is a time of great change for students as they move from the concrete world of their earlier years to the threshold of abstract thinking. In Upper Elementary, students are gently guided toward emerging adolescence. Our focus is on building the foundations of organization, self-confidence, cooperation, and curiosity essential to success in middle school and beyond. Our teachers provide growing academic challenges while remaining respectful of the ever-complicated emotional responses of children in this transitional stage of development. 

In Upper Elementary, the curriculum follows a trimester schedule, and the units are further broken down into six-week cycles. The curriculum is organized into the following subjects: Culture and Science, Reading and Writing, Math, and Spanish. Students are able to delve into these subjects through challenging guided coursework and independent research appropriate to their developmental stage. At this level, lessons take place in both small and large groups. Students are paired with an advisor for their full cycle in Upper Elementary, allowing them to develop a meaningful, long-term relationship. 


In addition to field trips around New York City throughout the year, all Upper Elementary students go on an overnight trip each spring. The sixth grade goes on a trip in the fall as well. These trips are a chance for students to explore independence outside the context of the classroom and offers new physical, mental, and social-emotional opportunities for growth. 


Students have expanded programming in Physical Education and Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) in Upper Elementary. By 5th grade, students can choose to play on the Mustangs, BHMS’s interscholastic physical education program. In 6th grade, students choose which VAPA discipline, or “selective”, they would like to take each trimester, giving them a chance to pursue a particular area of interest in greater depth. 


Highlights of the Upper Elementary Program:

  • Students have greater autonomy and responsibility in completing their workplans

  • Teachers challenge students academically, while supporting their socio-emotional development 

  • Overnight trips each school year provide opportunities for growth and exploration outside of the classroom 

  • Students work toward culminating projects, exploring subjects in great depth and presenting information to their peers as well as adults in the community 

  • Curriculum is designed comprehensively for students to make connections between subject areas 

To learn about all of our programs in greater depth, see our Curriculum Guide.

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