At each level, students are invited to explore, experience, and examine community, history, and geography. Achieving the ultimate goals of understanding oneself and one’s place in the worldwide community is possible only if multiple perspectives are presented at each developmentally-appropriate level. At Caedmon, students develop empathy and compassion along with research and critical-thinking skills, laying a foundation for future studies.
From the time children begin at Caedmon, they are respected as unique individuals within the community. Through celebrating what makes each person special, they learn that all people have much to offer their communities. As a school, we learn through monthly assemblies and participate in school-wide community service projects throughout the year. Through their classroom studies, students learn what a community requires to survive and how communities, both past and present, have learned to meet these needs. Students explore curriculum topics in more depth during field trips into the greater areas of New York City and beyond.
As students learn more about themselves and the communities to which they belong, they begin to be curious about the past. Beginning with Early Program, students start to understand the concept of time and history through personal, hands-on learning experiences. As the years progress, students discover the history of a neighborhood park, learn about the history of their community, examine the effects of cultural interactions in the Americas, study United States history, and explore ancient civilizations and their achievements.
An integral part of the identity of each community around the world is its situation in a geographic context. In the younger grades, students begin to comprehend community on a grand scale by studying the world’s continents, oceans, and nations, as well as on a local scale by exploring the neighborhood surrounding the school. As a result, they can identify their own meaningful position within these many layers of community. In later grades, students study the Earth as a functioning whole. They also begin to master the use of maps and geographical vocabulary, and to incorporate their knowledge of geography into research projects.