Group 1: K-1st grade
Experiencing in the real world what we are studying in the classroom is an essential part of the Group 1 curriculum. We take an average of 12 trips per year. These are real-world extensions of our classroom and are specifically designed to teach new concepts and reinforce concepts that we have already covered in school. For example, when Group 1 studied transportation, we went to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in Strasburg, PA, the Kalmar Nyckel tall ship in Wilmington, DE, and the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, DE. These trips were instrumental in supporting the students’ understanding of transportation. We use what we have learned during our trips to enhance our classroom curriculum by recreating their authentic experiences through dramatic play, collective and individual writing, and science experiments.
Group 2: 2nd-4th grade
Field trips are a critical part of the Group 2 program because they are the living part of the curriculum. We study a wide variety of topics in exciting ways in the classroom, but when we are able to visit places and people intimately connected with our topic, the topic becomes real, and the experience becomes authentic. An example of this is when we study Colonial America. Living in an area of the country where so much of our early history as America occurred allows us to visit places established by early settlers, including homes, places of worship, landing sites, and graveyards where the names of those early settlers are still visible. These experiences are powerful and memorable. Going to Valley Forge in February, experiencing the cold and wind and looking out over the landscape is different from reading about it, or even looking at pictures and paintings. Every topic we study is illuminated by our trips, from Eastern Woodland Native People to visiting temples, churches, mosques and other gathering places when we study religions. The importance of these experiences for the students cannot be overstated.
All four class groupings take frequent field trips and we invite people from the community in to speak to and work with the children. Several times a year classes walk to the nearby University of Delaware campus to see music and drama performances, gallery exhibits, and to participate in movement classes.