News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – Lyceum Preschool has been relocated to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo (BAMZ) since September 2023, due to renovations at its original location for the upcoming transformation of Francis Patton into one of Bermuda Public School System’s first Parish Primary Schools. These renovations support 21st-century teaching methods, preparing students for success in today’s world.

Inspired during a class trip to BAMZ earlier in 2023, Sarah Brown, school administrator at Lyceum Preschool, recognised the potential synergy between the preschool’s teaching methodology and the learning environment at BAMZ. Dr. Ian Walker, principal curator at BAMZ, deemed the proposal to co-locate the preschool during renovations a perfect fit.”

“We were open-minded to the fact that education could happen anywhere,” Brown said. That ideology is also embraced by Dr Walker and the educators at the Bermuda Zoological Society, who believe that high-quality experiential learning often takes place outside the classroom.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between BAMZ, BZS and the Department of Education and school officially started at BAMZ for Lyceum students on September 11, 2023.

Four months later, still in their new home base, Brown wholeheartedly speaks to the benefits of having her students–and teachers–spending a substantial part of the year in a nontraditional learning environment.

“We’ve been welcomed with open arms by everyone and they’ve treated us not as guests, but as part of the family,” she said. “From a professional perspective, we’ve grown as a staff in terms of learning how to be flexible and our teachers have developed the skills required for a co-teaching partnership.”

“Having Lyceum spend this time with us has been a pleasure for all of our staff,” Dr Walker said. “The experience has shown what a valuable learning space BAMZ is for Bermuda’s schools and it has given BZS educators additional opportunities to engage with this particular preschool through weekly classes.”

Being co-located at BAMZ has allowed Lyceum’s teachers to practice and implement the teaching methodologies that the Bermuda Public School System adopted through Education Reform, even while their school is in transition.

These methodologies, called the ‘LEGIT Pedagogical Model,’ have been tailored for Bermuda’s needs and promote hands-on, experiential, project-based, and inquiry-based teaching and learning methods that integrate various disciplines. The LEGIT model allows teachers to adapt to individual learners’ needs by using a curriculum that explores broad themes while also encouraging students to develop questions based on their own interests.

The rich natural environment at BAMZ, complemented by BZS educators and BAMZ staff, enhances this holistic approach. Being surrounded by a diverse array of plants and animals means that Lyceum teachers can easily supplement the existing curriculum and take advantage of additional education opportunities that arise.

For example, while learning about insects, students were able to observe “prehistoric-looking bugs” found under a planter by one of the BAMZ employees; explore the butterfly garden; participate in extra classes taught by BZS educator Kaiya Richards; and take a boat ride out to Trunk Island to learn about bees from Spencer Fields, local beekeeper and owner of Passion Fields.

While being in transition can be challenging for schools, the months that Lyceum is spending at BAMZ ultimately benefits the students and will be an experience that everyone at Lyceum can look back on with fond memories.”

“Having our students here means that our teachers get to think outside the box when designing lessons,” Brown said. “And we get to say that we have one of the most beautiful places in Bermuda as our school.”