The Elementary Curriculum is vibrant and exciting, with experiential learning interwoven with more traditional educational methodologies to create opportunities for students to appreciate and unlock their best selves.
In addition to the skills of reading, writing and mathematics, students today need a strong grounding in essential abilities such as presentation, innovation, problem-solving and collaboration. They also need a firm grounding in today’s tools, including technology and design.
At THS, the skills of math, literacy and foreign language are differentiated so that students who are advanced are not bored and those who are struggling in a subject are not frustrated. Other classes are taught in heterogenous groups so that students learn to work together with all types of students with different personalities, talents and interests.
Curricular Emphasis on History/Social Studies and Science
Although we do not know what today’s students will need to know in 20 years, we do know that just memorizing facts is probably not their best way forward – computers can already be counted on to provide facts at our fingertips.
But they need to know how to interpret and contextualize those facts, and to do that they need to know their place in time and space. That’s History and Social Studies.
And they need to know how to ask a question, answer a question, and present their data. That’s Science.
In Lower and Upper Primary, students complete 3 units of History/Social Studies and 3 units of Science each year, earning a patch for each unit completed. Some of these patches are displayed below.
Each year, students in Lower and Upper Primary complete a Passion Project, based on their own interests, which are then presented to parents and other students at an Exhibition. This allows students not only to explore topics not always covered in school, but also to develop time management and presentation skills. In the past, students’ passion projects have included such things as making a lego model of The Grove, collaborating with Mom to make a book of Hong Kong hiking trails, creating an entire Fantasy Country, making a parking garage and perfecting the art of trampolining.
Exploring the Arts
To get creative energy going The Grove has several learning centers focussed on the arts. At the Art Studio, students have a wonderful environment in which to paint, sculpt, shape, craft, or otherwise make art, which can then be proudly displayed in the school. The Digital Arts Center is used to teach digital and media literacy, ensuring that our Arts program keeps up with the changing times. Here students encounter new avenues for creativity, with lessons on everything from coding to videography. The theatrical and performative arts aren’t forgotten either, as the campus houses The Black Box Theater, a flexible 2200 sq. ft. performance space. Here students learn drama, rhetoric, dance, music, and more.
Experiential learning means getting hands-on and into the thick of things. Our Primary School classrooms feature state-of-the-art interactive whiteboards, modular furniture layouts, and whiteboard tables. This is learning ethos is reflected not only in our classrooms but also in our unique learning spaces: The Foundry and The Marine Sciences Center. The Foundry is a purpose-built makerspace with both traditional workshop elements and modern features such as 3D printers. The Marine Sciences Center enables students to see marine ecosystems up close and is also an active research facility where students can learn more about the scientific process.
Getting Out In Nature
We believe that the best way to learn about the natural world is not sitting in a classroom. We take our students out on The Black Dolphin, a 50-foot wooden ketch to explore Hong Kong and its outlying islands. In addition to learning about nature students develop a strong sense of camaraderie and teamwork as they complete group projects and explore the world around them.
In some ways, The Library is the heart of The Grove. A huge open space for reading and learning, featuring reading nooks, a slide, breakout rooms, and more books than can ever be read, The Library also brings in local storytellers, writers, and performers to bring reading to life. The campus also features a treehouse that juts out visibly from the school structure and serves as a creative space where students can go think, read, relax or meet in small groups.
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