Creating a well rounded curriculum leads to well rounded kids.
Over the past several years we have dedicated time and resources to implementing a Language Arts program to suit our culture, vision, and direction of the school, while adding to the premiere academic level to which Ivy Hall parents and students have become accustomed.
In addition to teaching writing conventions, which include ideas, sentence fluency, organization, word choice, voice, and presentation, we spend targeted and protected time on a socratic approach to student study of classical literature, integrated with art.
Every text students explore is authentic, classical in nature and of the highest quality. Students use these texts to learn, and eventually master, essential reading, writing, speaking, listening, grammar, and vocabulary. Instead of basals, students use original text to build knowledge of important topics and master literacy skills.
Each theme or module artfully explores a specific topic to develop depth of understanding and inspire curiosity. At the core of each module is a selection of literary works, informational texts, and visual art. All modules integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language instruction.
Recently, Ivy Hall partnered with a Best in State organization, Joyfully Read! This program not only enhances our approach to teaching Reading, but it will be used by every grade from Pre-Kindergarten to 8th grade to teach both rules, tendencies and spelling strategies to inspire great spellers and readers, understand the English Code, and replace the traditional model of memorization to spell.
For many years, Math has been the pinnacle of our academic pursuits. Ivy Hall students have consistently scored 1-2 grade levels above their current grade, based on national SAT rankings.
While we have previously used a spiral approach to our teaching, we are phasing in an additional layered approach to the key principles and concepts taught at every grade level. This layered approach teaches a principle in its most basic form and then builds from there in both exposure and difficulty level, deepening student understanding through application of principles in the form of story problems. Classwork includes exploratory challenges, facts mastery, group and individual exercises, application, closing questions, and exit tickets.
In connection with our approach to Citizenship: Inspiring Service through Global and Community Awareness, our Geography program is unmatched. Students learn locations, capitals, and cultural nuances of the many countries of the world. Additionally, our students have both local and international opportunities for service and travel on a yearly basis.
Ivy Hall students are encouraged to pursue their passions, interests, talents, and success. Helping students find their voice is the principle behind this area of focus. Combined with exposure to guest lecturers, leadership principles, and personal passion, Entrepreneurship allows students to creatively begin to shape who they are, where they are going, and how to become contributing members of society. Additionally, in our rapidly changing technological society, our students must feel comfortable learning in a vast technological world. We believe that a strong background in keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheets, and multi-media presentation building are vital tools to success in future academic and business arenas. Familiarity with the languages of computer programming, coupled with opportunities in the areas of app development, web-site building, and animation are helpful differentiators for our students as they grow to compete in an ever changing global market. We believe that leading technology innovation gives our students opportunities to improve and refine these valuable skills and ultimately find their voice.
In a Project Based Learning environment, our students will research what it means to be an entrepreneur, work with mentors weekly, study and write a business plan, and collaboratively create a viable business opportunity. Students will learn from the experience of those who have gone before them in their community, as well as along side their collegiate counterparts studying in the field of Entrepreneurship. Making study and learning relevant creates an environment of inquiry, trial and error, and creativity that leads to true genius and applicable growth.
Art, like writing, is quickly being reduced or replaced in many of our public schools due to lack of funding. At Ivy Hall, we have instituted an art program that challenges student skills and abilities, while exposing them to multiple mediums. Additionally, their art often reflects cultural, geographical or period specific themes, to coordinate with their areas of historical study. We believe firmly in research that shows developing the whole-child, leads to greater success in the sciences as well as the arts.