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Middlebridge School: A personalised learning experience for every child

No one child learns in the same way. Studies have well-documented how every child has a specific learning style or preference, and absorbs information best when it is presented in this way. While there are over 70 different learning style schemes, students tend to gravitate towards four — helping standardise teaching approaches in most classrooms.

What if, however, the traditional classroom learning experience is not adequate for your child? What if finding a school that fully fits your child’s needs or personalities is a difficult task? In this, your child might require additional, personalised support to give them all they need to succeed in school and beyond.

Enter Middlebridge School (MBS). Situated in Hazard Castle, Rhode Island — and overlooking the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean — MBS is a coeducational boarding and day school for students aged 13 to 18, and postgraduates. It focuses on providing a quality and highly individualised education for students with learning differences, ensuring academic, social and emotional growth.

At MBS, all students exhibit learning differences with their own unique strengths and potential. New students are similarly assessed. The first step of the application process is to submit your child’s up-to-date neurophysical or educational evaluations, which will be reviewed by the admissions team. After that, a Zoom interview as well as brief testing to assess the student’s readiness and fit is arranged. The final stage will see the school invite candidates for an in-person tour or meet and greet.

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Students learn at Hazard Castle, making for a quintessential and peaceful academic environment. Source: Middlebridge School

It’s a process that ensures that every student at MBS is appropriately cared for — reflected in its small community of about 75 students and 75 staff. This 1:1 staff-to-student ratio naturally makes for a highly individualised academic programme. Classrooms are language-based, multisensory environments comprising five to seven students who share similar learning profiles. Above all, every student has a chance to work with their teacher to explore content, share ideas, and build on their skills.

What sets MBS apart, however, is its inclusion of progressive programmes and courses that encourage every student to discover their interests and navigate the schooling environment. Take the school’s Social and Emotional Intelligence curriculum. Daily classes are held around teaching students to focus on their potential for social and emotional development, understanding of psychology, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, growth mindset, and resilience.

These classes centre around teaching students metacognition — the ability to use the right cognitive tools in approaching a learning task, problem-solving, evaluating results, and modifying one’s approach as needed. Here, students are encouraged to implement mindfulness techniques to “think about thinking.” This introspective approach helps give young people an optimistic vision of their future direction, increasing their levels of motivation and confidence in pursuing their interests and passions.

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Every student is given the chance to discover their passions — helping them carve out their future paths from the get-go. Source: Middlebridge School

Daily one-on-one tutoring is interspersed into the mix. Students are individually coached to become the most effective learners by determining their learning profiles, personal strengths, and challenges. They work with MBS’s legion of dedicated tutorial staff who adapt, prescribe and diagnose each student accordingly. Above all, they prioritise building relationships of mutual respect and trust with students.

Internships are another important aspect of learning at MBS. The school prides itself on giving every student the chance to explore and discover their passions and interests from the get-go. Max C, class of 2019, is doing exactly that — hoping to chase his dream of becoming an entertainment anchor or field reporter.

“I worked on the Today Show where I was fortunate enough to work on the Plaza, attend the Met Gala, be on the red carpet, and go to Peloton Studios for a mental health shoot,” he shares. “Additionally, I have spent time with New York Live, where I worked directly with anchor Sara Gore and her team. I am beginning my official career in broadcasting soon and am applying for on-camera reporting positions nationwide.”

Stories like Max C’s are common at MBS. It is this that has earned the school a reputation as one of the leading college preparatory programmes in the US for students with learning differences. US News and World Report listed MBS as one of the best boarding schools for ADHD students across the country — speaking to its expertise and experience in widening opportunities for children and young adults who may not traditionally succeed in the well-worn, conventional academic path.

Perhaps the most valuable part of joining MBS is its focus on cultivating and nurturing every individual student’s interests, passions, and strengths. “Belong and Become,” writes the MBS motto — giving every student the chance to fully and unapologetically be themselves for the first time.

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