Skip To Main Content

What is Experiential Learning?

This is learning for their world.

It's more than classrooms and field trips.

It’s a nurturing space that embraces the messy nature of learning, whether it’s building hydroponic gardens in our Merryweather Outdoor Classroom, observing dry mount slides under a microscope in one of our labs, or coding a robot in our makerspace.

Experiences inspire deeper understanding. Every day, we take a thoughtful and proven curriculum and turn it into a collaborative experience that engages all five senses, inspires boundless curiosity and encourages physical connection with every lesson that stays with children as they grow.

It goes further than test scores.

Language, reading, writing, math, science, art and social studies are intertwined in our sequenced curricula that challenge each student and reflect their individual interests and gifts. Our interdisciplinary approach to learning dives deeper into what really matters for your child, and our teachers connect with students on an individual level, diving into their world to discover what motivates and inspires them.

Our Preschool 2 students immerse themselves in the art of storytellingwriting, directing, designing and performing in their own plays. As active participants in the entire months-long project, students develop valuable skills in collaboration and creativity.

Intermediate School students' study of poetry takes them to Kent State University to work with the Wick Poetry Center. In partnership with Wick, students created a Traveling Stanza website that combined their poetry studies with science lessons about Monarch migrations. 

Grade 6 students participate in week of interdisciplinary learning, hands-on adventures and individualized pursuits at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. Designed and implemented by our faculty, students connect the past and present through a series of oral history interviews, core classes and engaging electives.

Old Trail teachers are passionate about teaching—not just as a job, but as a calling to support children in their educational journeys.

Amanda Irwin, Primary School Director

Exterior photo of the Merryweather Outdoor Classroom

The Merryweather Outdoor Classroom includes indoor and outdoor seating for 50 students and a "living roof"—all in a space that expands our ability to learn from and engage with nature.

Experience: the Difference

From age 2 to Grade 8, our curriculum presents academic challenges that our students can’t wait to embrace. Curricular highlights include:

  • 45–50 independent or small-group projects per year
  • 30 academic and arts electives
  • 20 field trips per year
  • 6 overnight experiential learning trips between grades 5–8
  • 3 3D printers
  • 9 VR headsets, including 4 Oculus Go headsets and 1 room-scale HTC VIVE headset

In world languages, our teachers apply the latest research on language acquisition by introducing genuine engagement with the target language, not outdated grammar-based instruction. By the time they reach the Middle School, our students move beyond the typical proficiency levels as they read contemporary novels, write narratives and converse in ways that reflect a native speaker learning his or her own language.

Schedule a Tour