Some of the overarching benefits of a preschool through 8th grade education model stem from the specific ways in which students are given opportunity to interact across grade levels. Our 8th graders are given opportunities to practice their leadership skills as the oldest students on campus, while preschool students benefit from having older (but not too much older) students to look up to and learn from. There are three significant BHS programs that create these opportunities for students to connect: on our House Teams and in our Peer Tutoring and Buddy programs.
In House Teams, students are separated into multi-grade groups and participate in a series of fun activities together throughout the school year. In our Peer Tutoring program, older students volunteer their time before and after school to help younger students with their homework.
The third and potentially most individually impactful way our students interact across grade levels is through our “Buddy” program. This is where each older student is paired with a Buddy from a younger grade. For example, each 8th grader is paired with a Kindergarten student who they visit and work with during structured Buddy time throughout the year. This mentorship program allows younger students and older students to develop a close friendship, giving younger buddies a mentor to learn from and older buddies the opportunity to impart wisdom and practice their leadership skills.
While we weren’t able to do our Buddy program this year, our Kindergarten students still had plenty of good advice to pass along to this year’s 8th grade graduates!
“When you get to high school, be nice!
“Don’t forget to stand 6 feet apart.”
“Make friends and be nice”
“It’s always kind to share.”
“It’s always nice to be nice!”
“You should listen to the teacher.”
“Listen to the teacher and wash your hands!”
“I think they need to know the difference between a quilt and a quill. A quill is a feather that you dip in ink to write with that they used before they had pens and a quilt is a blanket with beautiful squares on it.”
“Don’t hurt the plants and animals, listen to the teacher, don’t scare away birds when they’re making a nest. Try to stay quiet when the teacher is talking and don’t shout inside the classroom - use your inside voice. Use your outside voice if you need to when you’re outside and please follow the rules in high school.”
“Remember to wash your hands any time you’re about to eat or drink. Don’t forget to learn well and don’t forget to do your homework and bring it back on Friday, whatever your homework is.”
“In high school they might learn new math and new science. If there’s something that’s new maybe they could just listen for directions otherwise they won’t know what to do. And when you hear a fire drill you have to line up and go to the field.”
“You need to be smart and good at lessons and you have to be listening to the teachers and to their directions.”
“Did you know that when you get to high school you get to stay in a hotel?”
“When you get to high school, be neat. Don’t mess everything up. Write what you think is right, and just try different ideas. It just matters to try!”
“School’s not scary, it’s fun! When you’re at your desk, listen to the teacher so you don't get in trouble.”
“When you go to high school, be kind!”
“Whenever someone needs your help, you help them. Like if a grandma trips or something, you save them before they can be hurt.”
“When you get to high school you have to be safe by being safe from poisonous things like a king cobra. Wear your mask so people don’t sneeze. Play sports there too!”
“When you get to high school, you have to listen to your teachers, make your teachers proud, and be kind to your friends.”
“When you go to high school, don’t forget to put trash in the trash can, not on the floor.”
“When you go to high school, remember what you learned at Berkeley Hall!”