Hands-On Discovery In and Out of the Classroom
Integrated learning is central to every day at Academy, from outdoor adventures during weekly “Forest Fridays,” to harvesting salsa ingredients from the garden, to delivering the Wax Museum presentations in third grade. Here, children begin to develop a sense of themselves as competent learners who can adapt to diverse settings.
Our new playground for 3-year-olds, PreK and Kindergartners is a landscape rich with natural features designed to engage little hands and feet, and big imaginations.
The Academy lower school curriculum is designed to maximize hands-on learning opportunities. Our low student-to-teacher ratio plus our responsive classroom approach ensure that each child receives the type of stimulation she or he needs to best learn. Academy children collaborate, create, problem-solve, ask questions and trust their voices in a play-filled and nurturing environment.
Responsibility & Community
Sparking a child’s love of learning requires a multi-faceted approach and an important team of people: your family and our teachers. Together, we remove barriers and guide students along learning paths that align with their needs and cognitive abilities. Teachers set up their classrooms to support collaboration and instill the C.A.R.E.S. model for classroom behavior in which C stands for cooperation, A for assertion, R for responsibility, E for empathy and S for self-control. All of this fosters a sense of belonging. “I see very happy children,” says first-grade teacher Beth Klug, “children bounding into the classroom who want to be here.”
This tailored learning model allows each student to grow autonomously and also feel valued as part of the classroom, the lunch table and all of Academy. Children learn to think creatively, set goals and evaluate their own work. Taking responsibility for choices — academic and personal — awakens students to reflect on their role in strengthening community, not just during the school day but as they interact out in the wider world.
A Curriculum Designed to Transfer Knowledge
The multidisciplinary lower school curriculum, designed by our teachers, has as its goal developing a child’s ability to acquire the skills they will use across academic subjects such as the strategies of critical thinking, decision-making and problem-solving. While pursuing mastery in these skills, they make the exciting discovery of the relationships between the subjects of art, music, science, social studies, wellness and physical fitness.
In addition to regular classroom activities, Academy's Lower School features a weekly rotation of nine curriculum enrichment offerings: art, technology, drama, library skills, music, physical education, science, Spanish and swimming.
Want to learn more about how young children learn?
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The many dimensions of the Columbus Academy experience are captured in this collection of Education Today videos with topics ranging from the importance of play to the teaching of empathy to the role of the arts and technology in the classroom.
Come See the Academy in Action
Curious about whether the Academy is a fit for your family? Arrange for a visit, and we will introduce you to our students, parents and teachers. Our upper school students lead tours and our entire lower school team, including parents, are available to answer questions and share the joys of their experiences.