We have made some changes to the curriculum of the Lower School this year at WDS. As a small, progressive, independent school, it is important that we constantly assess, and reassess, the effectiveness, and mission-appropriateness, of our curriculum. To further those ends, we first took a look at our social science curriculum, preschool through 6th grade. We paid attention to the arc of content, and made some changes in what has been traditionally been taught in certain grades to make the progression more pedagogically sound. In addition, we looked at how we emphasize the humanities, making science a “special” as opposed to a core part of our program. To follow up on last year’s initiative to improve our arts program, we decided to implement integrated curricular projects in which science, art, math, and the humanities play equal roles.
Integrated curriculum addresses a typical shortcoming of traditional academic curricula – that of separating subjects and ignoring the connections between them. Integrating all the subjects allows us to foster the development of problem-solving skills. It is a more comprehensive way of learning that more closely corresponds to cognitive patterns than subject segregation. We can’t teach every fact but we can teach how to think about facts. This curricular project will allow our students to acquire tools of inquiry and expression – by bringing art and science into more of the students’ school experiences.
Integrated projects will be connected to classroom content and to the school’s annual theme. We looked for themes that had concrete applications, but also socio-political and even philosophical implications. This year’s theme is water. Your child’s classroom teachers will give you more details on what these integrated projects will look like in the daily schedule, and in their core curriculum.
The WDS Lower School consists of Grades 2-6. To see more click on the links below.