We encourage students to take ownership of their learning. Daily, faculty support students’ unique interests within the framework of class instruction by offering assignments that allow for student choice. As part of that process, students often pursue academic interests that extend beyond the explicitly stated curriculum.
As part of our social studies unit on Colonial America, all fourth-grade students become archaeologists in the field. This is an interdisciplinary project combining science, math, social studies and research skills. Students participate in hands-on experiences of excavating, screening, recording and researching artifacts at our campus dig site. Through careful observation, students hone their critical thinking skills, analyzing the data they've gathered and making hypotheses about Colonial American culture.
Breakfast Book Club is offered throughout the year in six-week segments to students at various grade levels. The KPS ELA Coordinator facilitates the Book Clubs, selects the featured book, and creates a reading guide for members to follow. Each week students discuss specific chapters noting characters and plot development, while munching on breakfast treats!
Fun with Phonics Club meets one morning a week and is open to second graders who wish to hone their phonics skills. KPS faculty design and teach hands-on lessons to give students more practice in applying phonics rules to real-life reading. Students play games, construct words, practice fluency within the context of reading, and have fun while reinforcing reading skills.
Oopsie Daisy is the Primary School’s literary magazine. Staff members are fourth- and fifth-graders, who edit the submissions and design the layout. Submissions are encouraged from all students in Grades Pre-K to 5. The magazine is bound and distributed to the entire Primary School.
To celebrate Women's History Month, our third- to fifth-grade students are invited to participate in the Women's History Challenge. A bulletin board with the faces and names of 14 women in history is displayed. The challenge is to complete a research booklet gathering as much information as students can about each remarkable woman. Participants submit their research booklets from which a Jeopardy-style quiz show based on the students' findings is created. In the spring, the students are invited to the Women's History Tea, where they participate in the quiz show, eat tasty treats and celebrate the lives of notable women.
The major goal of Writing Workshop is that the student “owns” her writing and is ultimately responsible for it. The emphasis is placed on doing writing rather than talking about it. In Writing Workshop, students are in charge and the teacher is responsive to their needs as writers: providing them with time, space and lessons that will move them forward as writers. This method is both child-centered and rigorously structured. The teacher sets in place the structure, which allows students a variety of choices and sets them off writing.
That's our mantra in robotics. Try crazy things, be free with your ideas, and see what happens. If you're going to build the future, you'll need to be a pioneer. –Emma, seventh grade
LEAN INTO DIFFICULTY.
When it comes to academics, it pays to challenge yourself. I'm in the Bioethics Symposium, presenting research on the ethics of genetically-enhanced intelligence. At times it's daunting—research, deadlines, time management—but it's also a whole new way of thinking. Very independent and "you-driven." –Isabella, sophomore
OWN YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE
It's one of the "conversation norms" we have at Kent Place, and it's always resonated with me. Everyone has a different and equally valid perspective to bring to the table—so put yourself out there. –Mary, senior
DON’T THINK YOU’RE GOING TO GET A LABEL.
There are no jocks here at Kent Place, no science geeks, no theater nerds. Last month a varsity athlete went to sing at the Vatican. Everyone here has some unique quality — and they’re amazing at what they do. –Claire, senior
REACH BEYOND WHAT YOU THINK YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH.
You'll face plenty of challenges, but push through them. Brilliant women use their resources: their teachers, our studios and library and, of course, each other. If you're stuck, collaboration can almost always get you across the finish line. –Suzanne Carreno-Powers, Math Teacher and STEM Coordinator
GET READY FOR RIGOROUS WORK.
And multiple extracurricular activities. Busy days, and a few late nights. But through it all, don’t lose your sense of fun. –Alessandra, junior
KPS alumnae are amazing. I met one alumna after a math and science panel who works in retail architecture. That made me think about a cool way to combine two of my interests — math and fashion. –Amber, junior
YOUR TIME AT KPS IS GOING TO OPEN UP OPTIONS YOU HADN'T EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT.
And when it's time to choose, you're going to know yourself so well, you'll pick the college that's the best fit for you—academically, socially, personally. So don't get tunnel vision. This is your process. Just know that you'll be ready! –Jennifer Simpson, Director of College Advising
SOLVING PROBLEMS IS A JOURNEY, ENJOY THE RIDE!
In the Middle School we do a Science Expo—either two or four people work on a science project for a couple of months and then present it to the entire class. We go into some in-depth projects and it’s incredible what we learn along the way, and how willing our teachers are to help us through the tough parts. –Toni Ann, eighth grade
SPEAK YOUR MIND.
Every girl here learns from an early age how to speak up and speak to adults. You never feel silly raising your hand, and you’re given lots of opportunities to speak publicly. I’m never shy about saying what’s on my mind. –Vittoria, fourth grade
ETHICS WILL CHANGE YOUR ENTIRE OUTLOOK.
Right away, we tackled questions of "right versus right." We're learning to look at every issue from both sides, which helps with everything from homework to friendships. –Elizabeth, eighth grade