A Day in the Primary Program
The primary school years are about deep inquiry and rich project work. There is a culture of trust, openness and closeness in the classroom; making room for creative thinking and creative expression; supporting a joyful relationship to school.
School begins with a daily morning meeting. Once a week, the day begins with Community Meeting, an opportunity for parents, teachers and students to share songs, to hear from students, to participate together in a mindfulness practice
The morning may contain writer’s workshop, math, visits to specialists, science, project work through a big study, individual and group reading time, class trips, reflective meetings
Specialists: Every week students have studio art, STEAM, movement, drama, music, physical education, science and Spanish classes
Outdoor time: Students have daily recess at the Imagination Playground, as well as time on the terrace and the green roof on-site
Project work: Over the course of the year, students embark on a Big Study.
For example, 1st graders studied playgrounds. They visited playgrounds throughout the city, met with architects, authors, designers and city planners. They investigated issues of safety, access and advocated for (and created) updated signage to enforce existing rules. They created the playground of their dreams in the STEAM lab, built an adventure playground on the roof, and learned about and created simple machines.
Another example: 5th graders studied activism through the lens of American History. They visited NYC sites connected to the Civil Rights Movement, to LGBTQIA+ Equality, to the Feminist Movement. They researched an activist, trying to understand the many stories that make a person who they are-- and wrote research papers, gave oral presentations and created art pieces.