Our children are active, social, inquisitive, confident, and full of joy.
At the Falk primary level, we recognize that relationships are at the heart of all learning. When children develop secure relationships, they confidently explore and try new things. It is through interaction with others that learning is nurtured, challenged, and supported.
There are many ways we build upon these relationships. A few examples include:
- Events for new families to build community.
- Children working and playing within and among classrooms.
- Mixed-age recess times.
- Shared spaces and materials.
- Collaborations across disciplines.
- Class pets to build empathy and caring.
- Intentional social justice instruction.
- Families encouraged to contribute to the class.
- Looping in First and Second grades.
Cognitive and Social Learning
Cognitive and social learning coexist in everything we do at the Falk Primary Level.
Within our carefully cultivated school community, rich and challenging cognitive learning can occur. In Primary, the way we design learning experiences and choose curricula is guided by what we believe about principles of human learning and the developmental characteristics of our students.
Whenever possible, learning experiences are interdisciplinary. For example, an activity may involve language arts, science, and art goals simultaneously. Some examples include:
- Writing Workshop
- Kindergarten Art Collaboration
- 1st grade Primary Map Quilt
- 2nd grade Bridge Design and Engineering experience
Since we believe that children must be actively involved in constructing their own understandings of their world, learning in Falk Primary is hands-on. Children learn through games, design challenges, scientific testing, observation, manipulation of objects, and application of ideas to meaningful scenarios. Children are also offered many opportunities to take initiative and make choices within academic activities.
Program of Studies
Language Arts instruction strives to meet children where they are in their reading and writing development, helping students find their interest in reading and learn to express themselves through writing. Teachers also provide opportunities for children to express themselves through the visual and dramatic arts, music, and block play, among other methods, with the goal of nurturing children’s integration of literacy across content areas, projects, and media.
Falk’s Primary Math program focuses on creating authentic opportunities for children to explore mathematical concepts, with daily lessons and routines that combine exploration, inquiry, demonstration, and discussion to form a solid foundation for children’s future mathematics development.
Science instruction supports children’s scientific understanding by asking thought-provoking questions and providing experiences that inspire students to think, question, and explore. Teachers help children to deepen their understanding by providing opportunities to record and document their knowledge using various representational methods including words and drawings.
Social Studies at the Primary Level begins by fostering children’s curiosity about the world around them, by examining the classroom and immediate family, then their neighborhood and community. Children share artifacts from their lives to learn about one another, and explore the concepts of past, present, and future.
At the Primary Level, children have Spanish class for 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week, in an immersion-based setting in which English is rarely used. The overall focus is communication, with activities designed to strengthen students’ skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. In addition to studying the language, it is also a goal for Falk students to acquire an understanding and appreciation of cultures other than our own.
In addition to these core subjects, Primary Level students engage regularly with humanities subjects including library, music and performing arts, physical education, yoga and mindfulness activities, WonderLab, technology, and the visual arts, and encounter nature in Falk Woods.
In 1st and 2nd Grade, the children experience a looping model. This means that they will remain with the same teacher and in the same classroom for both academic years. We value this teaching model because we know that children thrive when they have a consistent environment in which all members of the classroom, including students, teachers, and families, have the opportunity to develop and maintain strong relationships.