Dear Harbor Families,
As you well know if you are a returning family, 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, making models, exploring the moon phases, the phenomenon of day and night, and 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 with 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 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, outer space, sports and games, inventions and inventors, and many more. Each year, the Spiral theme is chosen as a community. This year’s theme of The World Underground was chosen by the students when ideas were presented by the students and discussed in depth by the teachers. In fact, current second grader Jack first proposed the idea of exploring the world underground, and we are so happy that he did!
Students have been engaged in exploring this topic from a variety of angles in their classrooms, and throughout the next few weeks, their passion and enthusiasm will continue to be ignited as classes dive even deeper into the topic.
Our school-wide exploration will culminate with a very special celebration in the school building, one cohort at a time. Students will showcase their learning on the evenings of March 10th and 11th (a schedule will be shared soon). On those evenings, classrooms will be transformed into living museums, documenting the dynamic learning that is our Spiral curriculum. We hope you enjoy witnessing one of the truly special aspects of the Harbor experience. We look forward to sharing it with all of you in three short weeks!
Head of School