Creative & Active Learning Opportunities.
In our Early Childhood and Lower School programs, the curriculum is focused on hands-on, open-ended activities that develop children’s curiosity and problem-solving skills. Instruction is carefully sequenced to encourage skill consolidation and cross-curricular connections. Throughout the program, students reflect upon and explain their thought processes and gain confidence in oral and written expression.
The Bridges Academy strives to develop its program that not only meets the expectations of the Common Core curriculum but surpasses it. Reference to national standards including the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), National Council of Teachers of Math (NCTM), Next Generation Standards in Science as well as the standardized testing offered by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) afford us the opportunity to consistently monitor, analyze and refine all aspects of our students’ experience. Our teachers receive regular professional development to support this work. This included recent workshops offered by Columbia University's Reading and Writing Project.
At Bridges, our character education program is focused on teaching and building a community, or "school family", of mutual respect and understanding. We prioritize the importance of having respect for self and others by acknowledging students within the framework of the Character Counts program. With small classes, and a student-centered approach, our teachers are able to identify and understand the social-emotional needs of their students so that they are comfortable to be at their best both in and out of the classroom. We have also recently engaged in a partnership with the Making Caring Common project developed by Harvard University. By participating in the student survey work that supports this program, we are better able to guide children as they embark on their journey into becoming responsible, self-reliant citizens of the twenty-first century.
All students in Lower School receive weekly instruction in the following core subjects: language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, Mandarin, French or Spanish, music and art. Aligned with best practice, technology is woven throughout all subjects and students frequent the Makerspace for innovative, project-based learning and the Greenhouse for hands-on learning.
We aspire to provide the most academically accelerated program while teaching “The Whole Child” in a complex, twenty-first-century global community. Our Lower grades incorporate the “Fundations Reading Program” which uses a multi-sensory approach to focus on individual learning styles. To complement that, we also use guided reading strategies that allow each student to excel to the level that they are capable of.
Explore the curriculum:
Throughout their time at Bridges, foreign language instruction is a constant area of focus. At Bridges Academy, we believe that exposure to this critical skills should begin at a young age when a child is more receptive to language development. Our program offers French, Mandarin, and Spanish. By graduation, our students have studied 2 out of 3 of these offerings, and are among the top achievers on a local and national level. In most cases, our students are prepared for no less than a level 2 placement by the time they enter the 9th grade. The study of foreign languages is an important aspect of being a global citizen and greatly distinguishes our graduates.
EXTENDING THE LEARNING
Exploratory classes in technology, public speaking, art, health and physical education, band, strings, and chorus complement the program and provide a well-rounded education for students. Our students flourish when participating in activities such as our school musical, their involvement in NYSSMA, and the National History and Geography Bees to name a few. Several of our 4th to 7th grade students are Duke Talent Identification Program (TIP) scholars.
Our students are accepted into the most desired day and boarding secondary schools and ultimately into the finest colleges and universities.
The Bridges Academy embraces STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) to prepare our students for the future demands of these skill sets in the workplace. In recent years, significant investment has been made in offering robotics, engineering, 3-D printing, augmented reality and one to one computing throughout the grade levels. These types of “maker” activities are integrated into the courses to enhance the student experience.
In grades 3-8, our school offers Chromebooks to all of our students to be utilized as a tool to support and enhance their learning. By graduation, our students are prepared to take the NY State Regents exam in Earth Science and Algebra.
OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
During the year, The Bridges Academy offers several field trips throughout Long Island and New York City. In the Lower School, some of these trips include local experiences to Sagamore Hill, the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Bethpage Village restoration, the Long Island Children's Museum and the Riverhead Aquarium. Theatrical productions at Hofstra and Stonybrook University as well as to the Patchogue and Boulton Center helps to support our theater arts and academic units of study.
Additional programs offered through Bridges, provide opportunities to discover a new passion, or deepen exploration in a familiar area of interest. Chess, robotics, soccer, model congress, basketball, theater and yearbook to name just a few of the many choices offered throughout the year.
These activities provide students with the opportunity to build leadership skills, strengthen self-esteem and nurture their capacity for global competence.