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Learning Beyond Our Walls


Learning Beyond Our Walls

Engaging, hands-on experiences abound in our classrooms, but getting out of the school building lends itself to a different kind of learning and excitement for our students.

In addition to a trip to Washington National Cathedral for the installation of Mrs. Spain Thomas as Head of School, every Lower School Student has also been participating in our well-established Field Trip Program. The gorgeous fall weather has provided an excellent backdrop for this year's range of community learning experiences.

Kindergarten students traveled to Butler’s Orchard for a morning of fall fun at the pumpkin patch and corn maze. This traditional first field trip is designed to grow students’ comfort with out-of-classroom experiences and celebrate the changing seasons. Grade 1’s trip to Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, a National Park Service site in the northeastern corner of Washington, D.C., helped students extend their learning about wetland ecosystems, forging connections between their social studies unit and the science curriculum. In an additional science-social studies crossover, Grade 2 students recently traveled to Prince George’s County’s Organics Compost Facility to observe the process of turning food waste into compost. This trip also enhanced the social studies unit on communities. Students were thrilled to learn that this facility is the place where our lunch and snack compost is delivered twice weekly. 

 Grade 3’s trip to Calleva is a community-building experience that allows students to challenge themselves and take appropriate risks on a ropes course and in other nature-based activities. Sailing on the Sultana in Chestertown, MD helps Grade 4 students more fully understand the experiences of the  English who arrived in the New World in the 1600s and provides a hands-on educational opportunity to promote stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay’s cultural and environmental resources. The Grade 5 overnight at Camp Horizons provided students with shared bonding experiences, a chance to explore nature, and time to learn about the environment around them. 

These trips provide opportunities for children to make interdisciplinary connections, experience personal growth, take appropriate risks, and strengthen friendships. Many thanks go out to the parent and faculty chaperones who make these excursions possible. We look forward to continued learning in and out of the classroom in the coming months. 

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