When you step onto our campus, you readily notice the creative and artistic work of our students in the colorful murals that decorate building walls and tree trunks. But upon closer inspection, our campus is also a canvas that showcases the scientific exploration of our students.
At The Raleigh School we are fortunate to have more than 14 acres where children develop a deep appreciation for the natural world. Teachers work to extend scientific and environmental learning beyond the walls of their classrooms, utilizing the outdoors as an educational resource for hands-on learning. Students have the opportunity to gather soil samples and conduct testing on water collected from Richland Creek as part of their study of ecology. Students plant in our classroom and school gardens so that learning experiences are authentic and meaningful. First grade students sit quietly in our outdoor classroom, listening for and observing the sounds of nature and trying to recreate a bat’s use of echolocation. Having students engage in recycling and composting efforts also helps our students become good stewards of the environment.
Respect for nature
Teachers listen to children’s conversations, welcome children’s questions and take the opportunity to teach respect for nature. At The Raleigh School, children love to observe and care for the natural world; even at recess children are outside with their magnifying glasses, scouring the plants for caterpillars or other critters. The children eagerly dive in to activities, not afraid of getting dirty, excited to have the chance to explore. And while it may be a naturally occurring phenomenon for children who are born to explore, it is no freak of nature or accident that it happens every week and every year at our school. Our scientific studies take full advantage of our campus and take students beyond the four walls of a classroom. Our students’ love of learning and curiosity – paired with the natural world around us – combine for powerful learning that cannot be achieved through reading or watching alone.
Commitment to Recess
Recess is also an important part of children’s outdoor experience at The Raleigh School. All classes have recess daily and, depending on schedules, classes may have two recess periods on many days. Whether it is a pick-up game of soccer, imaginary play amongst the willows, or fort building in the woods, we believe that recess serves as an important break in the day for children and encouraging unstructured, physical, outdoor time brings many benefits. Our facilities include:
- Basketball court
- Open field for soccer
- Moonball or "gaga" pit
- Age-appropriate climbing structures
- Fun hoop
It is during recess that children interact with peers and practice important social skills. Through play, children learn communication skills, problem solving skills, and coping skills. At any given point in the day, classes from several grade levels can be found playing together on our playground and throughout our outdoor spaces. Friendships are forged, skills are acquired, and community is built as everyone practices the number one guiding principle at The Raleigh School, “Everyone can play.”