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Why We Learn Outside?

At Peregrine School, we are committed to experiential learning at all levels.  While our classrooms are very rich, nothing compares to the learning opportunities which present themselves.  Imagine we are learning shapes in the preschool.  Inside we have circles, squares, and triangles, represented by any number of blocks, manipulatives, and paper models.  Even the doors
and windows are shapes.  

When we go outside, the variety of shapes proliferates.  How many shapes are there in leaves, and even from a single tree, how many sizes and variations in texture, color, condition?  The infiniteness of nature is apparent in even the simplest play-yard, and possibilities expand further when we add intentional gardens
and nature walks. 


Preschool in
A Garden School

Peregrine preschoolers at both sites spend most of their time in yards designed for naturalistic exploration.  Garden beds and fruit trees integrate with climbing structures, and natural materials- such as logs, rocks, and sand- provide the
props for play.

We learn, play, and eat outside, in all kinds of weather.​

Besides providing interest and challenges, an outdoor environment reduces the pressure often put on children to be quiet, to walk not run, and not to climb the furniture. Children can safely run free outdoors.


Curricular Gardens

The outdoors is an essential part of Peregrine Elementary’s project based learning.  Various parts of our one-acre schoolyard are designated as different kinds of gardens, each of which is not only a nice place to play, but also
a part the curriculum.

Each elementary classroom has its gardens, which match the science and history curricula. Kindergarteners tend the farm to fork garden beds where edibles are grown for the kitchen and herbs, snow peas, and carrots are picked and eaten at recess by students.  Third and fourth graders tend a nineteenth-century American garden with crops such as beets, turnips, parsnips, and rhubarb, while fifth and sixth graders studying the Ancient World grow ancient grains such as wheat, farro, and spelt.  The amphitheater with its Mediterranean fruit tree- figs, pomegranates, apricots, and olives- serve as a back drop for the Greek play which students write and
produce when they study Greece. 

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