Experiential Learning at Frederica
At Frederica Academy, we seek to model the best practices of the traditional independent school while adding innovation and best practices for the 21st century education. From the classroom to the saltwater marshes, a true education teaches our community, “moderation in all things and exposure to all styles of learning” as we strive to “maximize the potential of each student and to prepare him or her for college and adult life through the development of mind, body and spirit.”
Pulling the “real” world into our classroom and pulling the walls of the classroom down is at the core of experiential and service education. From Upper School Retreats, Exploratory field trips in Lower School, Makerspace projects and Honor Councils, experiential education allows our students to test, develop and see how we teach and learn in the classroom translates into the real world. Nothing should be studied without its application to the development of our student’s mind, body and spirit in the real world.
In the Lower School, experiential education includes a re-creation of the original Thanksgiving celebration in an historical setting in 1st grade, a trip to the Brunswick port to explore the workings of a freighter in 2nd grade, the 4th grade Archaeology Project that partners our school with Fort Frederica and the 5th Grade trip to Ebenezer Alive to experience pioneer life. Within the classroom, learning is centered on engagement and reaching the whole child intentionally, each and every day. One such example is the Lower School Organic Garden which involves every area of our curriculum for all grade levels. Students participate in the process of growing food in our very own “farm to table” experience. Education integrates curriculum in a unique way across disciplines in the Lower School to include drama productions, leadership of weekly assemblies, and the inclusion of expert visitors to the classroom in science, music and culture.
In the Middle School, our signature event is a week-long experiential trip for each grade called Carpe Vitam. Our 6th Grade travels to North Georgia. The 7th Grade goes to Camp Greenville, while the 8th Grade experiences Washington D.C. as a group, bonding and building their community as they begin their transition to the Upper School. Each week and every day, our Middle School curriculum seeks to build the skills and content for success in our Upper School, but its design is created for the whole child. Student Council, Service Council, Math team, Science Bowl competitions are all parts of the Middle School program that emphasize the habits of organization, time management and relationship skills that are developed outside of the classroom setting.
In the Upper School, as content builds and curriculum becomes more of a focus, experiential education puts the content in context for our students. From freshmen and senior retreats, to Epworth ropes courses, to our affiliation with the United Community Bank, we offer opportunities for our students to become engaged in a more meaningful way using their talents to immerse themselves deeply with the materials and process at hand. Science Bowls, math competitions, personal finance classes and AP Calculus share a common space in the lines of our students and faculty.