In the Lower School, the Festival of Learning is a year long exploration of a single topic that celebrates our world, its cultures, diversity, and rich legacies. It allows for a theme to be explored in more depth than a single class or grade-level curriculum allows. The festival promotes fascinating discovery, interdisciplinary learning, cooperative projects across grades, and involvement from the parents and outside community. The culmination is an intensive “festival” of activities the week before Spring Break. Each year’s topic enriches the curriculum by allowing our school community to explore together an aspect of our world we may not otherwise fully realize or appreciate. Past topics have included mythology, endangered species, global warming, the Middle East, Australia, and Colonial Alexandria. The 2014-2015 Festival of Learning theme for Lower School was food. Students spent Festival of Learning week exploring the importance of food in nourishing our bodies and what it is like to not have enough to eat; learning about foods from around the world and where our food comes from; understanding the science of cooking; and preparing a delicious meal for our school community.
Middle Schoolers spend Festival of Learning week engaged in a mini course, allowing them a unique educational opportunity to learn in depth about a topic not covered in their regular school schedule. In 2015, mini course choices included: Riding for Rights, Inventors Laboratory, Shark Tank, Learning to Fly, Gourmet Backpacking, It’s Only a Play?, Week of Wellness, and Don’t Yuck My Yum. Read about the students’ experiences in their own words: 2015 Mini Courses