At The School in Rose Valley, the curriculum connects heads, hands, and hearts. Literacy, math, science, social studies, languages, technology, service and partnership, art, music, wood shop, and unstructured play are interwoven in a challenging core of study and experience. This allows students to approach concepts and content from multiple perspectives at developmentally appropriate points, deepening conceptual understanding. Students build higher-order skills—investigating, evaluating, problem-solving, and communicating—in their ongoing collaboration with peers and teachers. Students reflect frequently on their learning and follow their own questions, gradually fitting knowledge into a meaningful whole.
Our progressive pedagogy demands that we see the significance and intelligence of what children are doing and almost doing. At the heart of this stance is practicing frequent authentic assessments of students’ work. Teachers observe their students carefully and thoughtfully. They look for patterns, strategies, and miscues as opportunities to inform their teaching. They use this information to differentiate the instruction in order to provide our unique set of learners with different combinations of appropriate instruction methodologies.
Major elements of the curriculum are:
Physical Development – At The School in Rose Valley, we view furthering children’s physical development as crucial and integral to the curriculum. Healthy children must have the opportunity to be physically active and to play. They need to know how to relax and to eat properly. For children to learn in school, they must be able to pay attention to teachers, to hold a pencil properly and to focus on their work. All of the SRV teachers work on the students’ physical development, from building fine motor skills in mathematics and art, to practicing listening skills in reading and music.
Emotional and Social Development – The development of emotional intelligence and social skills is critical for children to be happy and well adjusted, to learn in school, and to live fulfilling and successful lives. At The School in Rose Valley the curriculum includes serious work on students’ emotional and social well-being. We teach students to recognize and handle their feelings appropriately. Students practice risk taking and teachers help them learn how to bounce back and learn from mistakes. Our focus on community, responsibility and group participation helps the students learn the skills needed to work in groups and enjoy healthy relationships.
Moral Development – Moral development is not a separate section of the curriculum, but is intentionally interwoven in everything we teach at The School in Rose Valley. We value and actively teach students about democracy, encompassing freedom, responsibility, and participation. We honor diversity, appreciate difference, and value respectful communication, and we uphold these values in our classrooms. We advance sustainability as personal, campus, local, and global practices. And we actively teach and expect students to manage themselves and their interpersonal relationships increasingly independently and without violence.
Learning Disposition – Good students are curious, open-minded and flexible thinkers. They know themselves as learners, and they are self-motivated and disciplined. They are skilled in thinking analytically, and they understand how to find and evaluate information. Students must learn the skills and habits of mind that make learning in school accessible and fun. At The School in Rose Valley, teachers intentionally teach students how to be engaged, active and responsible learners.