Central to teaching and learning at Mission Hill School is an integrated curriculum that attends to the academic, intellectual, artistic, social, emotional, and civic growth of each student. The school-wide themes are woven into social studies, literacy, science and the arts. While mathematics is taught as a discrete content area, it too may connect to thematic studies through activities such as graphing data collection or the study of Ancient Greek mathematicians. Students study thematic topics over a four-year rotation. Each student experiences the full range of 12 themes from Kindergarten through third grade, and then a second time, from fourth through seventh grades.

Middle School students follow the schoolwide curriculum to a lesser degree as they prepare for their portfolio requirements necessary for graduation. The reflective process embedded in portfolio work at each grade level further helps students to see connections between topics, disciplines, and their own learning. Students develop competency in making choices and articulating their reasons for those choices, culminating in the portfolio presentation as a critical graduation requirement.

It is the school’s belief that students learn best when engaged in meaningful topics where the focus is on depth as opposed to breadth. The idea is that a student will learn some things well, rather than a great many things with little understanding.

The Schoolwide Curricular Trimesters
Each school year, one trimester is dedicated to science and technology. This alternates between life or physical sciences, with an emphasis on scientific method and inquiry. A second trimester focuses on the study of an Ancient Civilization. During this period, students question how people lived long ago and investigate the legacies we owe to the past. The third trimester explores the Struggle for Justice in America. Questions include: How do people address issues of justice and freedom? How do we gain equal rights? How does the political system work? It is through this lens, that we learn the history of America.

A Look Ahead

School Years: 2016 – 2017
Struggle for Justice: Who Counts?
Long Ago, Far Away: Ancient Greece
Science: Physical Science

School Years: 2017 – 2018
Long Ago, Far Away: The Taino
Science: Life Science
Struggle for Justice: Peopling of America

School Years: 2018-19
Science: Physical Science
Struggle for Justice: African-American Experience
Long Ago, Far Away: Kingdoms of the Nile

School Years: 2019-20
Science: Life Science
Struggle for Justice: World of Work
Long Ago, Far Away: Ancient China