General Education Program
At Friends School, our students’ natural curiosity is engaged so that motivation to learn and participate comes from within. Each year our teachers look for innovative ways to capture our student’s attention, inspire their imaginations, and drive their focus to the curricular content. Classroom projects, community partnerships, experiments, independent presentations, and in-depth exploration into content areas are the vehicles used to ignite engagement, encourage critical thinking and problem solving, and prepare our students for the challenges ahead.
The Preschool Curriculum
The Friends Preschool curriculum is a discovery-based learning experience that gives each child the opportunity to move through specially designed learning centers of his or her own level of interest and ability. The curriculum focuses on learning basic concepts and skills through hands-on experiences and activities. Each classroom includes the following centers:
-Imaginative Play/ Puppets Drama Center
-Math & Manipulative Center
Our students are encouraged to design, build, create and discover in our S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) centers. Our imaginative play/puppets and drama centers give children opportunities to role-play as adults in everyday situations and in a variety of careers. Dramatic play encourages creativity, self-expression, knowledge of cultural differences, and understanding of community. The art centers serve as a great creative outlet for children to express their emotions and ideas, develop fine motor skills, and improve hand-eye coordination. Our literacy center provides a quiet area in which to practice reading, writing and comprehension skills that will help children express ideas, explore their interests, and learn about the world around them. The science/nature center, also known as a discovery or exploration center, helps to foster a strong connection with and understanding of the environment. Our math and manipulatives center provides space for children to practice problem-solving skills, improve hand-eye coordination by sorting counters, recognizing and creating patterns, and participating in other similar activities. Finally, our music centers encourage children to experiment with sound and music, promoting self-expression, creativity, and relaxation.
Each class follows a theme-based week and begins every morning with “circle time” that includes introduction of the day, date, month, weather, daily job assignments, story time, schedule and music.
In addition, children play outdoors and work in the garden nearly every day. Library is offered once per week in the on-site library. Formal Art instruction, Music and Creative Movement are all offered to students once per week at no additional charge. Our Threes and up also receive Spanish and Drama classes once per week..
The Goals of the
To provide a positive sense of identity and emotional well-being
To develop age-appropriate social, physical, language and literacy skills
To encourage thinking, reasoning, questioning and experimentation
To provide exposure to the arts and encourage creative expression
To demonstrate proper health, safety and nutrition practices
To respect gender, age and cultural diversity
To encourage the growth of the whole child
In elementary school, our teachers build bridges between theory and practical application. Our program gives students the necessary tools to explore and draw connections between disciplines. Our academic program is committed to maintaining the highest level of standards and best practices for various academic disciplines.
Our unique and inclusive elementary curriculum meets the needs of all learners, whether measured below, at or above grade level. Friends School offers a genuinely individualized program for each student, crafted from parental input, internal evaluations, ongoing observation, and qualitative assessment of student progress.
When developing curriculum, teachers are empowered to be innovative. Grade-level lead teachers are responsible for core educational requirements, social skills and conflict resolution; children work with specialist teachers on a weekly basis in music, art, Spanish, drama, technology, physical education, FLASH (Family Life and Sexual Health). Field trips are an extension of the classroom learning and include visits to theatres, museums, nature centers and other community events and resources. Friends School adheres to learning standards and benchmarks regarding core content established by the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), and our elementary students receive instruction in and meet objectives tied to all KDE standards. Children also participate in community service projects throughout the year.
A low student-to-teacher ratio affirms that children’s learning styles, personal interests, and academic strengths and weaknesses are known and addressed. Evaluation of student progress is based upon weekly assessments for reading, spelling, writing and math, as well as student journals, portfolios, written narratives and observations. Frequent student/teacher/parent cross-communication enables teachers to determine each child’s strengths and needs, and to calibrate appropriate goals throughout the year. Progress reports are completed and shared with families four times per year. Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled twice per year, and the opportunity to meet with teachers and administrators are available regularly through team meetings.
Middle School is the time when we help students develop their independence and provide a framework for them to take greater responsibility for their academic work and social behavior. We help them hone the skills needed to be proactive and independent thinkers, and prepare them to enter the more rigorous high school programs.
Our Middle School classrooms are student-centered, and content is connected to real-world situations, exciting learning experiences, and community service projects that equip our students with a broad understanding of the world around them. Learning is hands-on, and our students are challenged to be proactive in building their own knowledge of a subject. To aid students in this self discovery of knowledge, Friends School has created projects that will stimulate their interest in subject matters and set them on a path of exploration and discovery. Students are given opportunities to apply the tenants of their S.T.E.A.M education to the design, modeling and construction of a Sustainable Tiny House, planting and harvesting of a school garden, exploring economics by running the school farmers market. Students explore arts and cultural studies by taking field trips to learn about Chinese calligraphy and brush painting, cooking classes, photography and drama classes, and creative writing. Our program is designed to expose students to the theories and work of the world’s most influential scientists, writers, mathematicians, historians, native speakers and creative artists.
Evaluation of student progress is based upon daily formative assessments, student reflections, observations, and weekly summative assessments. Parents are encouraged to visit the classroom, attend learning activities, participate in parent-teacher conferences, and assist in setting appropriate goals and action plans to promote student success.
Our graduates leave Friends School for a wide range of secondary schools. An FSL education ensures that our students enter the next phase of their academic journey as kind, compassionate, expressive, inquisitive, and conscientious young adults.