In the lower school years, children search, question and respond to the world around them, while working hard to acquire essential skills for future academic success.
We balance independent exploration with intentional and coordinated instruction. Throughout the program there is sequential skill-building and time allowed for in-depth practice and independent application of knowledge. Homeroom teachers of core subject and teachers of specials meet students where they are and challenge them to move forward.
The curriculum builds across grades in each subject; time is afforded for children to delve deeply into concepts, and build genuine understanding. For example, students practice research skills learned in language arts, as they complete reports on diseases in science. While studying Renaissance architecture in social studies, students construct castles with 3D printers in technology. Spanish and Group Guidance teachers coordinate a service learning project where students prepare nutritious Mexican casseroles for a local shelter, the Life Center of Eastern Delaware County.
We explicitly teach social and emotional skills, fostering resiliency, intellectual self awareness, and a sense of “being in community”. Community is the place that offers support when mistakes are made, socially and academically. Students feel safe and can practice taking appropriate risks, such as asking to be included, trying again when work is hard, or considering a math problem from a new perspective. Throughout every day, students are taught and practice empathy, attentive listening, respect, and kindness. “Meaningful Learning, Purposeful Life” is continuously revealed in the attitudes and actions of the members of our community.