LOVE OF LEARNING
As early as Kindergarten, HFS students learn to think independently and construct their own knowledge, whether they are examining the metamorphosis of the Monarch Butterfly, learning to relate to the world around them via time, space, numbers, art, music and literature, solving problems, or reaching out to others in the community. The children begin to understand that areas of study are interrelated, and that knowledge—and people—are immutably connected. Independence, critical thinking, social development, and relationships all take center stage, even for our youngest.
Students continue to develop academic and social-emotional skills. During these years, students begin more formal academic instruction with concentrated study of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. Teachers present the children with meaningful contexts in which to learn the skills they need, and in the process, continually demonstrate those academic connections that reinforce critical thinking skills and independent learning. Query, exploration, discovery, and hands-on learning continue to dominate the academic atmosphere. While technology is integrated across the grades, students in grades 2 – 3 engage in a more formalized study with the school’s librarian/media specialist. Consistent with our ECC program, students across the grades enjoy field trips and special programs that augment their learning.
Students actively prepare for the rigors of Middle School by assuming greater responsibility for their own behavior and learning. They continue to hone their academic skills and work more independently. Differentiated instruction is integral to the school’s academic approach to learning, and teachers readily accommodate rapid learners. The students work extensively on study skills, strategies for note-taking and test-taking, and formal presentations. They also assume leadership roles with the younger children, serving as “buddies” to them in Meeting for Worship and special projects.