Frequently Asked Questions
Why is “hands-on learning” so important?
As the research of John Dewey, Jean Piaget, and Howard Gardener reveals, young children think in concrete rather than abstract terms. Thus, they achieve a better understanding of their lessons by experiencing them with all their senses. All students are encouraged to feel, hear, see, smell and touch, as well as read and write about their studies. A rich abundance of materials in a variety of media give children many ways to apply their knowledge. Beyond the classroom, children explore the fourteen-acre campus and the local community as resources for further discovery and experience.
What are the advantages of multi-age grouping?
At Long Ridge, classes are organized in two-year age groupings. Multi-age classes best accommodate a range of abilities and levels of development typical in young children. Classes are designed to educate children as individuals with their own learning styles and rates while encouraging them to fulfill their own potential. Throughout the day, classes are divided into small groups to allow for even greater individualized attention and instruction.
Because students spend two years in one classroom, they develop a sense of continuity and familiarity with their teachers and their surroundings. Comfortable, confident children take intellectual risks–exploring new ideas and sharing their thoughts and discoveries with others. Multi-age classes also encourage students to learn from each other. Older children consolidate their own knowledge by sharing what they know with younger students who learn naturally from their older classmates.
Multi-age grouping more accurately reflects the world at large where individuals of various ages live and work together. Long Ridge students develop good relationships with older and younger children, resulting in a genuine school-wide community.
What is meant by an “enriched” curriculum, and what special programs do you offer?
In addition to classroom instruction in language arts, math and social studies, students in kindergarten through grade five have classes two or three times weekly with specialists in Spanish, science, music, art, and physical education. The children have scheduled times to use the 6,000-volume library where they borrow books, research and read. Each classroom is equipped with up-to-date computers and software that are available to the students throughout the day for writing, editing, presentations and educational games.
Weekly in-school and after-school activities give students new experiences such as yoga, volleyball or gourmet cooking and opportunities to participate in performances by professional dancers, musicians and dramatists. Students in Grade 1-5 have the opportunity to participate in our after-school Chess Club each week.
What is meant by an “integrated” or “interdisciplinary” curriculum?
At The Long Ridge School, subjects in each classroom are connected by one theme. For example, in addition to core studies in mathematics and reading, a class studying the Middle Ages may spin wool and create natural dyes in science class, learn to play period music on the recorder, build castle models in art class, play chess, visit The Cloisters, and research costumes and food of the era culminating in a medieval feast.
This approach ensures that students understand their subject thoroughly and from many different perspectives. Children develop strong critical thinking skills as they apply their knowledge across disciplines, learning to compare, contrast and evaluate an idea thoroughly. In this way, children also have the opportunity to express themselves through a variety of media and activities.
Examples of interdisciplinary curriculum themes at each grade level include Transportation for Nursery, Artists and their Artwork for Kindergarten-Grade 1, and Ancient Greece for Grades 2-3. In Grades 4-5, the year is split between an in-depth study of the Mianus River and a concentration on American Immigration.
Where do your fifth-grade graduates go after The Long Ridge School?
Our graduates go on to a variety of local public and private schools. Please click on this link for a list of schools attended by recent graduates: Life After Long Ridge.