Dear Harbor Families,
As you know and many of you have experienced first hand, our Spiral curriculum is a hallmark of our program and, in many ways - the highlight of the school year at Harbor!
Many of you have heard the story of the very first Spiral, over 20 years ago, when a Harbor parent generously shared an authentic moon rock with the school. Compelled by curiosity, teachers and students in all grades launched an in-depth study of the moon - reading books and stories, singing songs, making models, exploring the moon phases, and learning about the history of moon exploration. Under teacher guidance and at each developmental level, student interest drove learning across the school, our community was united in learning across all grade levels, and a Harbor tradition was born.
Harbor was, once again, ahead of its time. Research now demonstrates the power of learning through an “interdisciplinary” approach, where language, math, science, social studies, technology and engineering, and the arts intersect around a topic of student inquiry. Learning is much more meaningful and really “sticks” when students are motivated to ask and inquire into questions and reflect on learning, and learned skills are applied in various authentic settings across the disciplines. Dispositions of creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking are highlighted and nurtured as well.
In the many years since our annual Spiral tradition took root, students have explored topics such as music around the world, planet Earth, insects, energy, and "taking flight". Each year, the Spiral theme is chosen as a community. This year’s theme of Sports and Games was chosen at the end of last school year when ideas were presented by the students and discussed in depth by the teachers. In fact, current second grader Sara Leow first proposed the idea of exploring sports, and we are so happy that she did!
Students are already engaged in exploration of sports and games in their classrooms, and throughout this month, their passion and enthusiasm will continue to be ignited as classes dive deeper into the topic. As this is a community-wide exploration, we invite each of you to share your own passions with sports or games that you play; please contact your child’s teacher to find ways that you might contribute to the students’ learning during this exciting month of Spiral!
Finally, our school-wide exploration will culminate with a very special evening for all of us. If you haven’t already, please be sure to mark your calendar for the evening of February 6th, when students will showcase their learning! That evening, the entire building feels transformed into a living museum, documenting the dynamic learning that is our Spiral curriculum. Along with our current community, alumni and guests often join us to witness one of the truly special aspects of the Harbor experience. We look forward to sharing it with all of you in four short weeks!
Head of School
The Harbor School