Curriculum Overview

Curriculum Overview

For details on specific curriculum topics, please see the topics in the dropdown menu.

We maintain a rich and rigorous program for the intellectual, artistic, social, and physical development of each student. Our small classes enable teachers to respond to the individual developmental needs—academic, social, and physical—of each student.

At all grade levels, each student’s learning is fostered with a wide variety of teaching strategies, including whole-group instruction and discussion, small group learning, work with peers, individualized work with teachers and aids, and assignments geared to the student’s instructional level, learning style, and individual needs, preparing students to be productive, resourceful, contributing, and confident learners.

We explicitly teach interpersonal skills: to listen carefully, to communicate respectfully using positive language and good manners, to follow directions, to solve problems peacefully and independently, and to request help when needed. In addition, students are taught, and given opportunities to practice, the skills necessary to work effectively in small, collaborative groups. These skills lay a crucial foundation for learning, ensure the safety of all students, and create an atmosphere where all students can feel safe to learn effectively.

The community extends beyond the classroom and friendships grow between students of different grade levels as they learn and play together. As an example, the fifth graders and the Kindergarteners participate in activities together bimonthly, and at times, weekly, to work on literacy, social, and playground skill-building activities. Fun and learning lead to growing friendships. The fifth graders step up to their roles as responsible models and mentors, and the Ks feel more a part of the school when their Buddy is looking out for them.

To encourage students to develop the diligence and study skills that support successful learning, we teach organizational strategies throughout the curriculum. Grade-level-appropriate tools, and practice using them, help students develop persistence and take responsibility for their academic work and progress.

We teach and integrate thinking skills throughout the curriculum. Students explore and apply fact vs. opinion, comparing and contrasting, analogies, inference, classifying, evaluating, predicting, sequencing, deductive reasoning, points of view, and summarizing.

We take advantage of special learning opportunities, such as museum exhibits, world and local events, or visitors with special expertise, that may occur during the year.


The primary goals of the Kindergarten program are to spark an excitement and curiosity for learning, to set the groundwork for building a working community of learners, and to introduce the first academic steps of their Tilden adventure. We emphasize learning through a balance of academic work and play in a supportive, nurturing, and disciplined atmosphere.

A large portion of the Kindergarten curriculum is thematic and integrated, naturally bringing together many different disciplines and supporting the varied learning styles and interests of the students. With the exception of technology, Kindergarten curriculum reflects all areas of the school curriculum, providing an introduction to a wide scope of academic work.

First Grade

The first-grade year is one of great academic and social growth. Our curriculum is focused on helping children achieve academic proficiency and to develop social skills, self-confidence, and independence. Each student’s academic learning is supported through large and small group instruction, individualized work with teachers, and independent assignments geared to the student’s instructional level, learning style, and individual needs. Students actively participate in our classroom community through group discussions, problem solving, and collaborative projects, developing self-confidence and independence through these experiences.

Second and Third Grades

Second- and third-grade students continue to develop independence, learning to read and follow directions on their own, taking pride in pushing beyond minimum requirements, and taking responsibility for meeting (or beating!) deadlines for classwork and homework.The growing diligence and persistence of these students, and their competence in basic skills, allows the class to explore subjects new to them with greater depth and understanding. 

Fourth Grade and Fifth Grade

When students enter fourth grade, they move from primary to intermediate grades. While their acquisition of knowledge continues, the intermediate-grade focus is on application and synthesis of skills and information. The intermediate-grade curriculum is integrated, creating a variety of opportunities for students to apply the knowledge and skills they are learning. The many threads of their education are coming together—a process they will continue throughout their school experience.

Curriculum overview grid.pdf

If you have questions about our curriculum, please call or email us.

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