Randolph School is where students go to play out their learning and learn to pursue the things they are passionate about in a setting that encourages this exploration.
The work and learning children do in the Upstairs is based on how children learn at each stage of development and on the needs of each individual within a group or age range. When teaching and learning are responsive to each individual's strengths and needs, children are both nurtured and challenged.
We know that young children learn best when they are deeply engaged in exploration and play, which help them make connections and build on past experiences. Five-, six-, and seven- year olds need opportunities to sustain an interest over a longer period of time, to go deeper into a project, and to work with a consistent social group. The curriculum consists of daily routines and meaningful long-term projects and studies that integrate literacy, numeracy, science, and social studies experiences in ways that are appropriate to each age group and to each individual child.
The children in the 5-6-7s and 7-8-9s learn to think, work, and reflect like mathematicians, readers, scientists, writers, and researchers. They engage in year-long as well as short-term integrated studies focused on themes such as fairness and justice, birds, harvest, or water and weather. Five-year-olds have rich social and intellectual kindergarten experiences through the play, project-based work, and classroom jobs and activities that provide them with the skills and experiences they are ready for. At the same time, six- and seven-year-olds are challenged to stretch themselves intellectually as they learn new reading, writing, and math skills through the daily routines and in-depth projects. All of our 5-6-7s participate in morning circle, choice time, read aloud, blockbuilding, math games and projects, cooking and baking, art, music, author studies, gardening, and dramatic play.
The children in the 5-6-7s begin their day with their home-room teacher. Much of the day is then spent working in different configurations – independently, one-on-one with a teacher, in a small group, with a partner, in the larger group. Specialty teachers teach art, music, Spanish, and fitness, and sometimes even co-teach with the “mama/papa duck” for planned projects, choice times, or activities. Because we believe that children learn through relationships with multiple adults and other children, these groups also connect with other groups every week. For example, our five-year-olds regularly engage with the children and teachers in the Downstairs and the 7-8-9s and 9-10-11s for baking projects or choice times.
The home-school partnership is so important at Randolph School. Teachers and parents engage in ongoing dialogue throughout the year, including email "snapshots" written by teachers, conversations on the porch or on the phone, parent-teacher conferences in November and March, and mid-year and end-of-year narrative reports. Read more about why we write narrative reports as one way to assess and share what we know about each child.