Where can you find innovation at work?
In our approach to interdisciplinary learning, which supports the integration of the disciplines and collaboration among faculty. We believe that the most meaningful learning happens when children can make connections among the subject areas. Here are just a few examples of where you can see interdisciplinary learning in action:
- Integrated Curriculum – In the Lower School, teachers take a thematic approach to learning by introducing multiple subjects under the umbrella of one topic of study.
- Middle School Core – an integration of English and History scheduled for two consecutive periods four times each week, which allows ample time for reading, discussion, and project-based learning.
- Intersession –a two to three week session when the entire school explores a single topic in-depth from the multiple perspectives of science, mathematics, literature, history, and the arts in multi-age learning groups. Learning across these disciplines links science experiments, art projects, technology and music in a one-of-a-kind learning experience.
In the classroom, as teachers constantly refine the academic program.
Following rigorous academic guidelines for learning expectations at each grade level, teachers adapt their curricula, drawing from new resources and teaching ideas. With permission to innovate, teachers have the freedom to listen to their students, discover what they need, and develop appropriate lessons and materials.
In our arts program, where students are provided the structure and skills needed to soar creatively, whether it’s composing their own music in electronic music classes, choreographing movement in a dance elective, or designing their own pieces for a school-wide recycled-material fashion show.
In our commitment to technology, which is relevant, student-centered, cutting-edge, and woven seamlessly into the curriculum, adding to the wonder and excitement of learning. Computers join pencils, paper, and calculators as tools for learning in our 1:1, 24/7 Middle School Laptop Program and in our 1:1 Laptop Program in Kindergarten through fifth grade. Multimedia digital resources in every classroom consisting of an interactive whiteboard and projector or a 60" Smart TV with interactive overlay. iPads, iPods, ChromeBooks, Wacom tablets, a digital darkroom, digital still cameras, document cameras, table-top filmmaking materials, HD video and green screen technology, LEGO laboratory, Lily Arduino wearable electronic components for programming and science exploration, and programmable robots are examples of our wide range of tech tools.
In our dedication to STEAM and maker, which has long been a foundation of The Willows educational program that embraces the philosophy of creative problem solving, learning by doing, and design thinking. We continually enhance our maker and STEAM programs and launched our STEAM2(science, technology, engineering, art, math, and maker) program that is seamlessly integrated into our curriculum and allows students to fully engage in each discipline. We have two makerLabs, a designLab, STEAMStudio, and outdoor workspace and dedicated spaces in our Developmental Kindergarten and Kindergarten classrooms to empower students to develop a maker mindset and design thinking as they envision, prototype, design, build, rebuild, and share.