In the middle school years, grades 6-8, students are increasingly aware of their talents and interests and show a higher level of critical thinking.
This is a time of personal, academic, and worldly discovery. These children begin to know themselves; their confidence reaches new heights and they realize how much there is to learn.
Our Outdoor School, created to facilitate students’ learning and personal growth and development, is key to our success with middle school children. By venturing outdoors in the natural world, these children are able to witness first-hand how our local environment is constantly changing and impacting our surroundings in significant ways. While relying on a scientific and hands-on approach to learning, students increasingly understand how the human connection to nature has changed throughout history.
Research shows that learning outside of the classroom, through skilled teaching and facilitation, provides a more direct and motivating experience. Outdoor learning becomes a gateway to active thinking and problem-solving, as well as cooperative interactions.
Whether experimenting through sight, sound, smell or touch, learning in a natural environment allows students to gather data in real-time and capture real results. This enables them to respond to challenges and responsibilities in ways not possible in the classroom.
By broadening horizons and stimulating new interests, students discover their potential. Inspiring students to cross traditional boundaries, and learn from personal experiences, is what our middle school classroom and our Outdoor School lab are all about.
For about 10 hours each week, the faculty and students enjoy hikes, boating, fishing, orienteering, animal, plant and insect observation and examination, and environmental and history studies. Our middle school students study traditional content in Literacy, Mathematics, Science, and Global Studies in the woods. The learning continues when they return from their outdoor lab to their classroom.