The curriculum is at the heart of our school. It is born of the children’s interests, developmental capacity, and teachers’ goals and knowledge. We understand that children are learning to make sense of the world. They need to be equipped to live in the world. We work with each child to further that child’s academic and social development. The curriculum provides opportunities for children to find new areas of interest and strength as they grow, to present their ideas, and be well-spoken and self-assured in public presentations. Children develop a sense of responsibility towards the community through their group work and their own individual learning.
Our curriculum is based on project-based learning, which involves in-depth studies of themes, integrating language arts, science, social studies, mathematics, physical education, and the arts. Teachers create curriculum annually that is responsive to the student’s current environment and world affairs, as well as students’ interests and identities while following New York State’s Next Generation Standards. Our curriculum is anti-bias and anti-racist, with a focus on social justice. Social and emotional learning is woven into all children do. Classroom work is conducted collaboratively so that children learn to work with others cooperatively in social groupings. Trips are also an important part of the curriculum, along with the use of concrete materials, dramatizations and simulations as ways for children to recreate the themes and concepts they are studying.
We provide children with work that is real. We look at what real writers do and what good readers do to build curriculum that is important and relevant to the lives of the children. We teach children to be researchers and activists from prekindergarten up through 5th grade and to reflect on their experiences to ask questions and learn.