Laying the Foundation
Character counts at Wakefield School.
Throughout the year in the Lower School, the four cardinal virtues — prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude — are introduced and characteristics of each virtue are discussed in class on a regular basis to help students see the practical ways they can live these large ideals. Students are acknowledged in the community when they display these characteristics and virtues in their everyday behavior and decision-making, and are helped to see how practicing the cardinal virtues leads to a civil, friendly, supportive, and enjoyable community.
The Lower School’s Virtues Program, Character Counts, is led by our Lower School Counselor. Each month we focus on a "characteristic" that embodies one of the four Cardinal Virtues.
Founded on the belief that children learn best through play, Wakefield seeks to engage our youngest learners with experiential learning and discovery.
Through exploration, investigation, and use of their senses, our students begin to construct an understanding of the world around them. Teachers, as their guides, establish a safe, nurturing environment that allows the children's natural curiosity to blossom. Here, learning is meaningful, challenging, and inspires a love of school from an early age. We encourage the children to be active partners with us and with each other, making learning a collaborative effort.
Teachers use Wakefield's Outdoor Classroom and our Makerspaces intentionally as learning spaces and participate in planning lessons across all grade levels. Formal academics are introduced at each level, appropriate to age. Math, Science, Literature and Pre-Reading, and Phonics are woven into each day.
Through play, children learn to create, analyze, measure, and collaborate.
Our daily schedule allows time for both structured lessons and unstructured play time. The object of the structured lessons is to provide even more fuel for students’ imagination while unstructured play time allows students the opportunity to absorb and integrate what they have learned into their ever expanding minds.
Homework is an opportunity for students to practice and reinforce some of the topics, skills and materials addressed during the school day.
Setting aside a period of time to independently focus, think, explore, and engage in the work of the day allows children to extend and solidify their learning in a distraction-free environment.
In grades 1-3, students have approximately ten minutes of homework time per grade level (Grade 1=10 minutes total, Grade 2=20 minutes total, Grade 3=30 minutes total), plus additional time for independent or family reading. In Grades 4 and 5, students follow the same guidelines; however, the time is not necessarily balanced across the week. Students are learning to manage their time, and thus may need additional homework time to study for tests and complete projects.