At Annie Wright Schools, we believe that boys and girls learn through purposeful play. Our youngest learners question, investigate, explore, engage and wonder, all to help make meaningful sense of their world. Annie Wright’s Early Childhood and Lower School, an authorized candidate of the Primary Years Programme-the globally recognized International Baccalaureate Organization, believe that school can be a transformative and playful academic experience that celebrates each child’s learning journey. Teachers at Annie Wright move each boy and girl from his or her current level of understanding to a new and deeper level of understanding and increasing preparedness for current and future academic work.
Annie Wright’s teachers guide and encourage children to bring the outside world inside classroom walls (watching cocoons transform into butterflies, for example) and embrace with confidence the world outside our walls (digging in the dirt to observe roots and plants). Students learn that questions and inquiry are essential parts of the learning process: What items at the water table sink or float and why? What structures can I build with these blocks? Is there a story I want to tell with my picture? With whom could I share my story? Teachers’ skilled responses or questions help children reflect on their observations or experiences, encouraging them to think more deeply and to make connections with previous experiences and knowledge.
This trans-disciplinary model of instruction allows first graders, for example, to study the circus including such topics as the elementary physics of trapeze, the history of the circus, the music of the Big Top, the mathematics of ticket sales, all culminating in a “real” circus created and performed by the children themselves, and a student researched and selected project that extends what they have learned into the larger world (raising money to support the survival of elephants no longer able to perform). At each grade level, at appropriate developmental readiness, these projects make learning authentic, engaging, meaningful and playful.
The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme at Annie Wright Schools focuses on children’s hearts as well as their minds. It addresses social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to those considered to be more academic.
Learn more at a Day School Preview this fall, offered at 9:30 am on Thursday, October 10; Monday, November 11; and Thursday, December 5. Head here to Learn more and register for a preview event.
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