The Joy of Learning
Children are naturally curious. They bring a wonderful enthusiasm to exploring the world—and it is that sense of discovery, that joy of learning that we look to cultivate. You can see it in the concentrated faces as first graders build their earth and moon models in science. The cheers of joy when third graders arrive at computer class and hear that they'll be working on projects in Scratch, a program developed at MIT for visually teaching students to code.
Teachers are always looking for ways to reach each child, to help them connect with the subject. And that enthusiasm lasts—you see it in eighth grade when everyone comes to the science lab during recess to try and build a stronger bridge.
Today, success comes from not just having knowledge but from what you can do with that knowledge. It also comes from being a great continual learner who can adapt, question, analyze, and collaborate with others to find new solutions. So those are the skills we look to help students build every day. Through hands-on STEAM and STEM projects. Through harkness discussions. There is a real effort to engage every student, to give every student a voice.
"Schools like ours create future leaders of our country. We need them to be armed with the skills to tackle a world that none of us can accurately imagine." - Headmaster Adam Rohdie
We aim to prepare leaders—students who will be leaders in high school, in college, and beyond. There is a focus on helping students take a hold of their own education. They know how to study and how to get help. They have a confidence in their own ability to tackle difficult academic challenges and succeed.
- An integrated pre-school curriculum makes learning fun and meaningful.
- Math, science, language skills, writing, and social studies are emphasized throughout the Lower School.
- Coding is introduced in kindergarten.
- Spanish begins in kindergarten.
- Formal public speaking begins in first grade.
- In sixth grade, students choose between Mandarin Chinese, Latin, French, and Spanish for their world language.
- Capstone Projects in sixth and ninth grade challenge students to think creatively and work collaboratively.
- Harkness-style discussions are part of the English and history experience in the Upper School.
- Technology tools—iPads, laptops, Smartboards, Squishy Circuits, Little Bits, and many more—enhance the learning experience at GCDS.
For overviews of each course, see the academic curriculum for each division:
Join us on campus and see first-hand how our teachers inspire joyful learning and help students build the skills for success!