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Intermediate School (Grades 3-5)

Intermediate School students participate in class in the outdoor amphitheater.

Children who know how to learn, know how to succeed.

Like creativity and leadership, learning is a skill that must be practiced. To ensure your child develops this invaluable talent, experienced and enthusiastic teachers adjust their instructional delivery based on your child’s strengths and interests. Because students are fully engaged in the material, they learn more deeply, they ask and answer their own questions, and they see knowledge as something that can be discovered, not just bestowed.

Learning at Old Trail reflects learning in the real world.

Differing from most private elementary schools, Old Trail teachers present material in ways that become an experience, and these experiences deeply embed knowledge in students regardless of their learning style.

There is simply no more effective way to equip children with the skills they need to be successful learners for life.

Teachers collaborate to ensure they capitalize on opportunities for cross-curricular connections so that students learn concepts from multiple angles. For example, third graders discover the history of carousels, learn about the math behind them, and then design their own as part of an interdisciplinary experience.
 

What is experiential learning?

An art teacher provides guidance to an Intermediate School student.

A study by the American Psychological Association shows that “positive student-teacher relationships have been shown to support students’ adjustment to school, contribute to their social skills, promote academic performance, and foster students’ resiliency in academic performance.”

Experiential learning is really important at Old Trail. When the students are involved in something and they’re actually doing the work, they’re making decisions and they’re doing research, there is more buy-in into it. They feel more responsible. They feel as though someone is listening to them.

John Pintola, Intermediate School Director

Overview and Philosophy

An intermediate school student observes nature outdoors on campus.

Our curriculum appeals to the special characteristics of this age group.

Mutually rewarding, respectful and trusting relationships with family members, teachers and, increasingly, with peers are extremely important. Children at this age begin to enjoy planning and more complex games and are more product and goal oriented. They gradually develop the ability to apply learned concepts to new tasks.
  
We give students much-needed opportunities to share thoughts, perspectives and reactions. While initial thinking is concrete, they begin to think logically and symbolically, and their best work is usually done in small pieces. Our teachers offer the support children need at this age to complete long-term projects and study for tests.

Intermediate School Curriculum