At City and Country School, we think learning is a passionate experience. We stress the importance of the process of learning and help children come to the realization that often knowing how to find the answer or ask the question is more useful than the answer itself. We encourage children to try things for themselves, to explore and draw conclusions without fear of failure. We provide opportunities through which children come to value themselves, other people, ideas, skills, responsibilities, and hard work.
We see children as individuals and as members of a Group. We encourage them to develop in their own ways. We want children to know the satisfaction and excitement of their own creativity and expertise and to know the shared joy and inspiration of the Group. We expect children to appreciate the unique qualities and contributions of themselves and others. We strive for a diverse community of children and staff.
We view the classroom as a resource to be used by the children: a safe, well-planned environment in which constructive work and creative dramatic play can take place. City and Country teachers carefully choose meaningful materials for developing responsibility and age-appropriate work standards in our classrooms as well as in the Library, Science Laboratory, Technology Laboratory, Art Studio, Wood Shop, Rhythms Room, and the Yards.
At the core of our curriculum—one which successfully integrates the arts, academics, and ethics—is a belief in the fundamental importance of direct experiences, many of which bring children outside the classroom to serve the larger school community or visit the surrounding neighborhoods. Trips and jobs are viewed as essential hands-on learning tools. From the earliest ages, research in all forms is encouraged as a natural response to everyday experiences and inquiries. As the children's world enlarges and their quest for information and understanding becomes increasingly based on written communication, they are taught the necessary academic skills.
We believe that in order for children to internalize a sense of moral responsibility to their community, they have to learn to make choices and be responsible for them. Through the discussion and negotiation that evolve in everyday experiences, particularly in their jobs, the children become problem-solvers and critical thinkers.
As a result, after over a century of experiment and practice, the City and Country School is a place where:
- Children are respected
- Children are active participants in their learning
- Children develop the skills necessary to pursue their love of learning
- Children are expected to become responsible members of their Group and the School community
- Children learn to recognize and accept strengths and weaknesses in themselves and others
- Children become lifelong learners