Excellence Made Visible

Brendan Largay, Head of School
Post Date: February 7th, 2020
Brendan Largay

Happy February everyone!

I have spent the past week thinking a lot about what a whole child education looks like to an outside observer, a visitor to campus, or a prospective parent. This first week of February has offered, as most weeks do, a nice collection of offerings here at BDS to make that vision clear.

On this Spirit Day, as I write decked out in blue and gold for tonight’s Friday Night Hoops match-up, it is impossible not to see the ways in which we work to honor the excellence of our student-athletes. Whether they’re with their classmates in PE or in a game with another middle school team, our student-athletes find joy in their effort to put forth their very best on the court, on the mat, or on the climbing wall.

On Wednesday night, whole child excellence came in the form of a phenomenal display of musical talent as our ensemble performing artists were showcased. The brainchild of a collection of some of the best music teachers in the business–our ensemble instructors–the first annual Ensembles Night featured all six groups with performers from first to eighth grade.

Each and every day, the whole child excellence exhibited in our classrooms is evident. From planets hanging in sixth grade–all an appropriately-ratioed distance from the sun–to Egyptian pyramids in the Erskine Library courtesy of our fourth graders; and from animal tracks welcoming our pre-kindergarteners to their classroom to the Capstone project phase that our eighth graders are designing, evidence of the academic excellence that marks the whole child education at Belmont Day is abundant.

Of course, where the whole child may be nurtured best at BDS is in the social-emotional development and understanding of the child. It is, perhaps, the least immediately visible aspect of a child’s education, and yet it is perhaps the most critical and the most cumulative in its development. It is the magic that occurs from September to June as each new group of teachers comes to know, understand, appreciate, and love each of their students. It is born of the ‘in-between’ moments: a high-five to start the day; the jubilant announcement of a finished reading book; the story told at a lunch table; the invitation from a second grade class to the head of school as he passes by; or, simply a thoughtful goodbye as we head into the weekend.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.

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