City Garden School Mission
City Garden School educates children’s hands, hearts, and minds with an intellectually rich curriculum that inspires wonder, reverence, and creativity. We honor and nurture the development of each child, infuse art and storytelling into every subject, and use the natural world as our classroom so children may grow with a capacity for empathy and a will to improve the world.
Head, Heart, Hands
City Garden School places significance on each child as a whole being, in all aspects. We acknowledge and honor thought, feeling, and will as intricately interwoven aspects of each person that develop over time and with each one being dominant at a given time.
As educators, we strive to create balance for each child in our care by nourishing the thinking, feeling, and willing with truth, beauty, and goodness. A mind that is sharpened with a wise and thoughtful intellect in the head, a soft heart that recognizes the beauty of the world, and strong hands that revere the strength of humankind.
Intellectually Rich Curriculum
At City Garden School, we know that education is more than the acquisition of information, rigid academic curricula, and high stakes testing. In fact, the world is changing so rapidly that no one can really predict what information our children will need to know in the future. However, it is clear that intellectual flexibility, creative thinking, independent judgment, moral discernment, refined written and oral communication skills, and the ability to collaborate effectively will be essential to success in today’s ever changing, global community. The City Garden curriculum and teaching methods are designed to nurture these capacities and more.
Art and Storytelling
Children in elementary and middle school develop memory through feeling. Through listening to stories that involve familiar concepts, children create vivid inner pictures. Those pictures are personalized for each child and cement the concepts in a way that abstract explanation cannot. It is the memory formation and the type of imprint on the soul that are important for learning facts. They shape and mold their moral sense through the stories they hear and their life experiences. The stories used in our curriculum meet the children of each class on the level of their hearts and create a balance during development when children feel intensely.
School in Nature
Children have a strong connection with nature and benefit from being outdoors as a learning environment. Outdoor learning accelerates learning itself. It can have huge benefits on mental health and academic performance. Students are often calmer and better able to focus when learning in nature, have better behavior and social interactions.
We encourage open-ended, self-directed play that is critical for physical and mental development. As children run, dig, explore, and overcome challenges along the way, they build self-reliance, resilience, and stamina; improve their motor skills; and, as part of a group of other children, learn about social interaction.
Empathy and Community
The City Garden methodology isn’t “for little kids.” It is for the adults they will become. We actively teach empathy and compassion. Empathy helps us build and maintain healthy relationships with ourselves and others. It is the key to being in community with others.
City Garden School offers a social-emotional curriculum that helps children to communicate, to connect with others, to resolve conflict, and to cope with challenges. We support children in developing an understanding of others that arises out of our compassion for the child's experience.