Elementary Grades 1 – 4
Our grades 1 – 2 elementary students begin to combine hands-on, research-based learning with understanding abstract concepts. An advanced academic curriculum – including language arts, mathematics, science and technology, foreign language, history and cultural studies – gives each student the freedom to concentrate, experiment and practice without interruption, mastering the lessons given by teachers. Passionate, credentialed teachers, a non-judgmental and encouraging classroom environment, caring classmates, and an individualized curriculum based on Common Core and California Standards and Next Generation Science Standards with a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects provide a learning environment for each student to build upon his or her natural enthusiasm for learning.
Students learn to read and write fluently, research confidently, complete projects within agreed time frames, and explore art, music, and drama, both individually and in small groups. Self-direction and self-discipline build self-confidence, while our multi-year age span gives students the added opportunity to teach and learn from each other.
This multi-age learning environment allows older students to act as leaders, to reinforce and master their own knowledge while mentoring younger students.They have daily opportunities to read with younger friends, help them in their projects and researches, solve problems, and work on art projects. Younger students are motivated by the sophisticated work of their older classmates and challenge themselves to do their personal best every day. Spring Hill’s program offers self-directed study allowing students to work independently and as well as collaboratively. Leadership is also encouraged through rotating classroom tasks, care of the environment, and care of the classroom animals.
Students continue to take part in peaceful conflict resolution, learning empathy and respect. Through peace circles, they are supported to express themselves but also to hear others, to learn to make fair judgments, and to reach solutions to the benefit of all.
Practical life skills expand and include increased responsibilities, including caring for the classrooms and environment, caring for the menagerie of school pets, gardening, preparing meals in the school kitchen, and building forts within the community-developed rules. These are important skills which help students become responsible and compassionate and begin to interpret the meaning of “greater good.”
Extra curricular subjects are an important aspect of the Spring Hill’s Elementary curriculum. Education extends beyond the classroom and school environment with off-campus field trips and educational outings. Enrichment classes taught by qualified and experienced specialists include Music, Physical Education, Drama, Art, and World Languages.
The work of the grades 3 – 4 elementary student nests atop the foundations set forth in the lower elementary grades as students continue developing as explorers of their surroundings. Inquiry and discovery are at the center of our work. Students at Spring Hill experience and observe the world through their own lens as we guide them toward the path of lifelong learning.
There is no limit to where they can go!
Spring Hill’s inquiry-based and hands-on program engages students in to think with a “scientific mind.” They approach learning by questioning, hypothesizing, researching, testing and drawing informed conclusions. They are encouraged to be creative, discover their own talents, learn who they are and how they learn best to reach their potential, and gain the skills needed to succeed and thrive as they advance in their educational journey and prepare to become leaders of their generation.
At a historic and magical natural-setting campus . . .
with a beautiful playground, students climb trees, build forts, walk in a secret garden, visit with friends in the school’s teepee, feed chickens, and gather fresh eggs and fresh vegetables from the garden, which they prepare and cook in the school kitchen. These are a few reasons our students love their school!
From a curriculum that goes beyond stressful testing . . .
Spring Hill is committed to providing an education based on advanced academics that promote meaningful learning with evaluation and assessment. At Spring Hill instead of assigning desks from an early age where students must be passive while an adult lectures, students have the opportunity to experiment and discover beyond books. They are fully engaged and self-motivated in the process of learning through hands-on activities and student research. They learn to own their education and become self-motivated students in love with learning. At Spring Hill we strongly believe that our students should be allowed to ask questions when they wonder, instead of waiting for the right time, when the magical moment is gone. At Spring Hill, no question is too insignificant to be answered, and no idea is too inordinate to be discarded. Foreign language helps prepare our students to be active participants in our global world. Music, art, drama, and physical education give our students opportunities to find their passion.
With committed, passionate teachers . . .
students are empowered to follow their interests and discover their passion in life while gaining knowledge about a variety of subject matters. Our qualified and passionate teachers are fully engaged in their students’ learning. They work individually with each student and become a mentor, offering guidance and support for a positive learning experience so each student may fulfill his or her full potential and succeed. They encourage students to become independent and critical thinkers, and confident communicators. Spring Hill teachers have a love of continual learning and are knowledgeable about the latest research regarding the needs of students in the 21st century.
In small classes and multi-age classrooms . . .
teachers have the opportunity to observe their students closely and gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses. Through close observation and supervision, the students are able to excel in areas of their strengths and get support in the areas that are challenging to them. A multi-year relationship between teachers and students fosters mentoring opportunities for teachers and peers.
In a non-judgmental community . . .
based on friendship and respect, Spring Hill students are encouraged to challenge themselves to reach their full potential. Students also learn social responsibility and support their peers and classmates, working as a team to overcome any difficulties that one might have. Every day through “I Message” interactions, students have the opportunity to find a strong voice to express themselves. They learn to make informed decisions and find solutions that work for all. Student council fosters confidence and promotes leadership opportunities. Spring Hill is a place where learning is enjoyable, achievement is valued, and every child has the opportunity to become his or her best self.
To prepare our students to become members of the world community . . .
Spring Hill is committed to expanding students’ global awareness. Cultural subjects are important aspects of the curriculum. Students learn about different cultures, their similarities and differences. They study the importance of peaceful conflict resolution toward a more peaceful world. In addition, our bilingual classes (beginning with our Toddler program) are an important part of Spring Hill’s effort to educate students with global awareness. Learning a foreign language is a priceless gift that allows students to not only connect with the wider spectrum of people worldwide, but also be in a leadership position as they follow their paths to careers.