The Joy of Learning: Central to The Grayson School Experience
Looking for a school for a gifted student? Learn more about what the The Grayson School is doing for these unique learners at every age.
Non scholae sed vita discimus: “We learn not for school, but for life.” At The Grayson School, an independent school for gifted students, the intrinsic joy of learning is central. From preschool through upper school, the goal is authentic, inspired, audacious learning.
For Grayson’s youngest scholars, curiosity-driven investigations and rich, complex material reflect the school’s commitment to challenge. When K-1 students studied electricity, one student asked a question that changed the class’s direction: “How much does energy weigh?” Thermodynamics may not be a typical kindergarten topic, but when students are engaged, gifted teachers follow.
“The weight of raising a gifted child is enormous, but since our son started at the the Grayson School, that weight has lifted. We know he is being challenged in ways he never would have if we had chosen a different path.” — Melissa Repko, parent of a 1st grade student
Grayson’s research-based programming is standards-aligned, but flexible so teachers can differentiate and take advantage of moments of genuine inspiration. Language arts took a surprising turn last year when a fifth grade discussion on The Odyssey kindled a spontaneous and authentic interest to tackle the full translation of the original text—which they did with great gusto. Other students chose to explore mythologies geared towards their individual reading levels.
In middle school social studies, students explored medieval Europe in an immersive simulation. They engaged in trading, military tactics, building institutions, and cartography, marshalling evidence from sources to support their choices:
“I wanted to build a specific tool, but my teachers challenged me that it was not available during that time period, so I contacted a curator from the British Museum and brought evidence to class to justify my plans. Boom!” — 7th grade student
In addition to tackling courses that integrate deep, student-centered learning, Grayson upper school students spend time daily conducting real-world projects under the guidance of expert mentors. This fall, one student will create a modern art adaptation of a classic novel; another plans to build a nuclear fusion reactor; and another will study avian flight to improve drone responsiveness.
“It’s so important to me that the kids are fiercely engaged. And leaning closer in class just isn’t enough. I need to help them go out into the world for material that they will drag back to their lair and feast on like wild animals.” — Ally O’Rourke-Barrett, Director of Project-Based Learning
Join The Grayson School Community for CogniCon, a fun, learning-filled morning of brain-powered activities for your child as you learn from experts in the field of gifted education and parenting gifted children.
Have a question for a current Grayson School parent? Leave it in the comments section below.
Photos by Abbe Foreman