Once a year, The Willows departs from the day-to-day curriculum to offer an in-depth, cross-disciplinary study of one theme. This year we conducted our annual Intersession virtually the first week of January focusing on Illuminate, our 2020-2021 school-wide theme. Although usually in multi-age groups, this year students from Kindergarten through 5th grade collaborated virtually by grade levels in order to offer more interaction with their friends in other classes in the same grade. At the end of the week, Lower School students met with their older Book Buddies to share projects. The Middle School divided into multi-aged groups of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.
Intersession Overview
Intersession offers a different approach to project-based, experiential learning and an opportunity to fully integrate our disciplines in a fresh, illuminating academic experience. Historian, educator, and author Ken Bain explains, “Deep learners . . . grapple with ideas, concepts, and the implications and applications of those ideas and concepts.”

Intersession fosters deep learning and offers:
  • A departure from regularly scheduled units of study to focus intensely
  • Deep thinking and exploration, problem solving, planning, organizing, executing (critical executive function skills)
  • Uninterrupted blocks of time to engage deeply
  • An opportunity to investigate a theme, problem, subject, challenge, or activity from new perspectives
  • A vibrant academic experience shared between students and teachers
  • A time for teachers to further integrate subjects and gain ideas for new ways to approach material
Author and eminent educational specialist, Tony Wagner, currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Learning Policy Institute, lays out seven “survival skills” that he sees as critical to success in the classroom and life. The survival skills – critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, agility, and adaptability, initiative, and entrepreneurship, effective oral and written communication, accessing and analyzing information, curiosity, and imagination – are all practiced during Intersession, where students engage deeply in joyful and meaningful learning.

Vitural Intersession 2020-2021

About Us

The Willows School is a DK-8 independent school serving greater Los Angeles.

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8509 Higuera Street
Culver City, CA 90232

Phone: (310) 815-0411
Fax: (310)815-0425