Our elementary program currently offers grades kindergarten through six in multi-age classrooms. Our goal is to create the richest possible learning environment by meeting the individual academic needs of each child, while maximizing the social and academic benefits of collaborative work. For more information on the general approach taken at Peregrine, please continue reading. For more information on the approach taken in individual grades/classrooms, please click on the links above.
Peregrine Elementary School is a different kind of school, which emphasizes learning through all five senses. As children enter elementary school, the play-based learning they did in preschool is not lost, but gradually transitions into inquiry-based learning, which we call project based learning. The kindergarten year serves as an important transition between these two approaches.
Project-based learning provides a balance between the open, child-centered inquiries in which preschool children engage, and the need to gain skills and to cover academic subjects in grades 1-6. In project-based learning, students continue to make choices in significant areas of their learning, to participate actively rather than passively, and to experience a hands-on, experiential approach to science, arts, and social studies. Hence we continue the Reggio-inspired approach of our preschool, in which all 8 intelligences (the hundred languages of childhood) are honored. We believe that this constitutes good learning at any age.
Over each school week, students experience three types of teaching environments, each of which focuses on students’ needs in different ways. Click on each of these environments for more information.
Language arts and math – Individualized instruction maximizes students’ potential in skills areas.
Project-Based Learning – Integrated, trimester long inquiries and projects define the curriculum in science and social studies, and integrate with math, language arts, and the arts.
Working with specialists – Peregrine staff members include part-time science and arts teachers who are experts in their fields.
Teaching occurs in multi-grade settings which allow students to explore concepts appropriate to their developmental level. Grade level combinations can change from year to year, depending on the population, but the following guiding questions define inquiry at various levels:
Kindergarten (English and Mandarin programs): Who am I in my family and community and how do my family and community form me? This classroom occupies a pivotal position between preschool and elementary school. It is the time when literacy and numeracy become a major focus, yet topics of study remain close to the lives of the child, and play time still happens each day.
Lower elementary grades (1-2): Who am as a citizen of California and the United States? How have the histories of my ancestors, of California, and of the United States formed me, and what are my responsibilities as a Californian and an American citizen?
Upper elementary grades (3-4 & 5-6): Who am I as a member of the human race? How have human evolution and history formed me, and what is my responsibility to my environment and to my global community?