A gem in the heart of Allison Park, Winchester Thurston School, North Campus
There are many things you’ll find here that you won’t see at any other school. First: the boots. Neatly lined on trays outside each classroom, little boots stand ready to be pulled on every day—rain or shine.
That’s because outdoor life is an integral part of our private school's learning. Our Northbound Trail features way stations that engage hikers in the flora and fauna. Our spring-fed pond provides opportunities for understanding ecosystems, canoeing in tandem with a partner, and finding and studying frogs and turtles. Our idyllic, seven-acre campus boasts a hoop house for growing food, a natural playground for climbing, running, jumping and pretending, and in the snowy winter months, shrieks of laughter from jubilant sledders.
Winchester Thurston School, North Campus is included in Natural Start Alliance’s compilation of Nature Preschools and nature education programs. The Natural Start Alliance, a project of the North American Association for Environmental Education, is a coalition of educators, parents, organizations, and others who strive to help young children connect with nature and care for the environment.
At each grade level, teachers integrate lessons and units with the outdoor environment:
- Pre-Kindergarteners study leaves and trees, hold bird watching sing-alongs, tell stories along the Fairy Tale Trail, and conduct water flow experiments.
- Kindergarteners plant flowers and vegetables, study ladybugs, hike the trail, and write poetry at the pond.
- First graders study air and weather and make observations about the environment at the pond and butterfly garden.
- Second grade students study the stars and moon phases, track seasonal tree changes, and participate in an outdoor drum circle along the Northbound Trail.
- Third graders study native plant species and grown them in the Hoop House for transplantation on the Northbound Trail.
- Fourth grade students complete a compass and letterboxing study, create pinhole cameras, and design and fly kites and airplanes.
- Fifth graders study aquatic habitats and apply their learning with off-campus trips to RiverQuest and the Mountain Institute.
- First through fifth grade students experience Science Day – a day-long, hands-on, outdoor study with their peers from the City Campus.
There are countless reasons why Winchester Thurston's North Campus is different than any other day school in the area.