Cooking an African feast, dissecting a fish, learning about subtracting mixed-number fractions, and debating the ending of the novel, Murder on the Orient Express, are all activities in a typical day for 4th and 5th year students.
On a national level, research shows that students start to lose interest in schoolwork at about the 4th grade level. At MSE, our curriculum and faculty continues to keep students engaged and eager learn at this critical stage. The curriculum is still individualized so that no child disengages and loses interest in the learning process. We utilize students’ increasing capacity of abstract and critical thinking to engage them in complex and compelling studies. Their brain development allows them to move beyond the “what” and “why” of the Lower Elementary Program and begin to question the “how” of the universe. Broad themes such as Early Humans and Ancient Civilizations, Timeline of Technology, Biology, and Earth and Physical Science are included in our integrated program.
While academic growth is rampant, students continue to develop important life skills. Weekly planners, for example, help children to anticipate due dates and monitor homework load, fostering self-reliance and healthy organizational skills. Students take a field trip every month, and all students participate in two overnight adventures. Music, Art, Spanish and Physical Education are also a part of the weekly schedule.
The Upper Elementary years are a time of great social development for children. Peers are becoming increasingly important in their lives, and they begin to want to work more in groups. We honor this stage of development by offering them more collaborative projects, and the freedom to move around the classroom environment.