- Village School
- Middle School
- Upper School
Chadwick Village children are active learners involved in an array of firsthand experiences each day. Students don't just read about science, they DO science. They don't simply fill out pages of math problems, they also explain their thinking and processes.
Chadwick focuses on educating the whole child. Beginning in kindergarten, we focus on developing foundational skills in both academic and personal development.
These foundational skills include broad academic discovery in reading, writing, mathematics, language arts, science, global languages, social studies and physical education. Character and earned self-confidence also are fundamental to educating the whole child. Village students expand their learning through early and progressive exposure to outdoor education, global citizenship, community service, athletics and the arts. Technology also is integrated in the classrooms with iPad lessons and telepresence videoconferencing.
At Chadwick, learning is a joy, not a chore.
Village School students receive a visit from the Village School Director, who participates in their lesson. At Chadwick, teachers, advisors and staff all support and nurture students on their journey of learning and personal development.
Emerging readers and writers connect spoken, written and visual representations of ideas and experiences. The approach is an integrated one. Children are introduced to concepts about the printed word, left-to-right progression, letter-sound association, and decoding strategies such as picture and context clues and phonics in small instruction and practice groups. At this age, children’s reading skills vary widely, so instruction adapts to individual development. Handwriting skills are introduced. Children apply their emerging phonics skills to “guess-and-go” spelling so that they can write words and sentences with increasing independence and accuracy.
Children explore mathematical patterns, create number sentences and use math to define and solve problems. Kindergartners develop their understandings of math concepts and pattern through the use of hands-on materials, group discussions and individual practice.
Students learn scientific skills such as observation and prediction through various integrated science units including color, bodies, senses, animals, the underground, kelp forests, matter, regions and planets.
Children learn about living in a community: self-management, being a positive member of a group (sharing, cooperating, negotiating disputes, being considerate and helpful), and caring for the classroom and campus environment. Children develop interpersonal skills like self-advocacy, cooperation and collaboration. Integrated topic studies build connections between disciplines. Teachers guide children to understand and respect individual, social and cultural differences. Instruction focuses on inquiry and investigation as children explore and learn.
Children learn the sounds and rhythm of Spanish as they begin their language-learning journey. Songs, games and movement play an important role in learning greetings, numbers, colors and the calendar.
Library, Media and Technology:
Kindergartners visit the library weekly to hear stories and select a book. Stories may reflect the instructional themes such as appreciation of other cultures, animal stories and the like. Children learn about the parts of books, their care, and beginning basics about library organization and circulation procedures. Experiences in the computer lab are also part of the kindergarten experience.
Reading: Beginning skills continue to develop as children learn to identify and read books at their “just right” level. Decoding and comprehension lessons model strategies that are practiced in small guided reading groups and then individually. Children meet regularly with their teachers in individual reading conferences.
Writing: Through the writer’s workshop process, children develop their skills in writing both fictional and informational texts. Spelling patterns are explored and practiced in developmental word study groups.
First-grade math focuses on developing understandings of addition and subtraction and strategies for basic fact families, reading, writing, adding and subtracting. Understanding number relationships, including place value, is another focus. Children use a variety of tools, such as number lines and objects, to make meaning of addition and subtraction and to develop varied strategies to solve arithmetic problems.
Students observe the natural world and develop ideas about cycles. Seasonal cycles are explored in our own Chadwick Canyon and on campus. Children compare the life cycles of various animals, record data and communicate results. They also are encouraged to explore their interests, frame meaningful questions and work through a research project.
Children help to build a strong classroom community, learning further responsibility and how to solve problems constructively. Appreciation of multiple viewpoints and interdependence is emphasized. They learn about first grade in the past through the lens of their grandparents and map the birth place of each grandparent. “Builders and Buildings” is an interdisciplinary, hands-on study that includes woodworking experiences.
Children continue to develop language-learning skills through thematic vocabulary. That is, they learn the words in categories such as clothing, animals, higher numbers and common fruits and vegetables. Activities include games, skits and role-playing to reinforce high frequency vocabulary and expressions.
Library, Media and Technology:
Weekly trips to the library incorporate story-telling, non-fiction reading, fiction experiences, and book checkout. Computers are used to find information needed to answer their questions. Students are introduced to keyboarding, word processing, art programs and more in the computer lab.
Reading: Second-graders read chapter books, choosing reading material at an appropriate level with guidance. They learn to read aloud with fluency and expression as oral reading becomes a focus. Children generate reader response questions and participate in literature discussions and small group activities.
Writing: Skills develop with practice as children engage in journaling, poetry writing, research report writing, and writer’s workshop; they explore Aboriginal legends and create computer-generated reports. Word study includes a spelling program and themed-based spelling, as well as grammar activities (capitalization, punctuation, word usage, and subject-verb agreement).
Second-grade math focuses on building an understanding of the base-ten system and place-value concepts, quick recall of addition and subtraction facts, fluency with multidigit addition and subtraction, and understanding of linear measurement and tools. Place-value concepts, including multidigit notation, are also taught. Finding the median values, numeration to 1,000, number-grid patterns, and making change with money are included in problem-solving.
Skills of observing, classifying, predicting, hypothesizing and recording accurately are emphasized as children investigate animal and plant interactions in the Chadwick Canyon and research and explore the local cetacean community. A study of whales concludes with a whale-watching trip in San Pedro.
The social culture of our local community is emphasized. Students examine family issues and their role as citizens in a larger community. Through the study of animals around the world, students learn research skills by completing a written report. Students study the dual cultures of Australia, focusing on ancient Aboriginal and present-day societies.
Students begin to learn letter sounds in Spanish as they transition to learning written Spanish. They write a short paragraph about an animal. Reading simple poetry and songs helps children begin to make connections between written and spoken Spanish.
Library, Media and Technology:
Students learn about the Dewey Decimal System and the computer database. Weekly library visits introduce students to new reading options. Students practice finding books and reading at their own “just right” reading level. They use the computer lab to practice keyboarding skills, do research for social studies and create presentations in KidPix.
Through all grades K-2, children are learning that becoming resilient, resolving conflicts, and understanding oneself and others are crucial to a satisfying life. The Village supports character development through our core values: respect, responsibility, compassion, honesty and fairness. The development of such skills and qualities is an integral part of the K-6 education at Chadwick.
Teachers guide and coach children ages five to eight to become increasingly self-aware and interpersonally attuned to:
• Understanding the core values
• Reading and understanding the feelings and perspectives of peers
• Adapting behavior to match the needs of a situation
• Resolving conflicts
• Expressing needs and feelings appropriately
• Learning the give-and-take of working with others
• Developing the flexibility to follow as well as lead
• Persisting and bouncing back from difficulties to become increasingly resilient and confident in themselves
Reading: Reading with increasing independence, accuracy and depth is a feature of third grade. Children learn about literary genres and expand their repertoires, reading widely. Predicting outcomes, making inferences, identifying main ideas, recognizing setting, plot, and themes, and noticing the author’s perspective and intent are practiced. Children read nonfiction for research, using multiple sources and learning how to assess the authenticity of information.
Writing: Writing skills develop to include revision, adding description and detail. Students edit for punctuation, spelling and grammar. Children write fiction as well as nonfiction pieces.
Third-grade math focuses on building an understanding of multiplication and division, strategies for basic multiplication facts and related division facts, and on developing an understanding of fractions and fraction equivalence. Students use properties of addition and multiplication, develop strategies to solve multiplication problems and relate multiplication to division. Data frequency distribution descriptions (mean, median and mode) are utilized. Students develop fluency with math facts including multiplication and division.
Themes of form, function, change and connection are explored through studies of ecology, rain forests, geology constellations and life sciences. Students develop PowerPoint presentations to share their learning with classmates.
The unifying theme in third grade is ‘Journeys.’ How are we connected through time, culture and geography? Where do families originate and why do they relocate? Children study our past and ancestors, explorers, geography, landforms and Native American cultures. A study of Los Angeles is introduced, including its genesis and multicultural roots. Current events are also a feature, as children identify, summarize, and orally present a newsworthy story of their choosing to their peers.
Vocabulary introduced in Spanish reflects the topic studies students are encountering in their homeroom. Students begin to write in Spanish at an introductory level. “Chit-chat” cards prompt conversation and help the teachers assess the students’ retention and use of Spanish phrases.
Library, Media and Technology:
Weekly library trips continue and increase as study units revolving around research (biography, reports, insect studies) occur in the curriculum. Computer research and word processing are incorporated when needed. Students spend time in the computer lab working on their keyboarding skills; word processing and presentation tools are introduced. Additionally, they use digital media tools like Pixie and KidPix to create art and animations and to tell stories.
Reading: Students practice the habits and skills of active readers, and begin to gain deeper meaning by reading between the lines, gleaning both inferential meaning as well as comprehending the literal. Discussions of literature include references to literary elements, such as theme, place and character.
Writing: Students use the writing process with a variety of genres, including fiction and nonfiction pieces. Children begin to understand the structure of a cogent paragraph (topic sentence, supporting facts and details.) Vocabulary is extended using the Wordly Wise program.
Fourth-grade math focuses on developing an understanding of decimals, their connections to fractions, the concept of area and how to determine it. Students use efficient methods to multiply multidigit whole numbers, understand decimal notation, and relate fractions and decimals: comparing and ordering, estimations and equivalency. Students use number sense (like rounding and estimating) to assist with problem-solving, work on finding multiple methods and strategies for solving problems, and explore ways to communicate mathematical thinking.
The concept of change is an overarching theme. Skills such as planning experiments, testing hypotheses, recording data accurately, comparing results and thinking logically are practiced. Students learn to justify predictions based upon cause-and-effect relationships. Geology and ecology are key areas of study.
A focus on California and the greater world is explored, with an emphasis on mapping, geography, explorers, native and indigenous peoples, and the concept of multiple perspectives. Students study California missions and the Gold Rush and take field trips to Mission San Juan Capistrano, the Pilgrim ship and Sacramento.
Vocabulary and culture related to California and Latin America are emphasized. Students learn words and phrases related to house and home. These are introduced and practiced.
Library, Media and Technology:
Students focus on incorporating and utilizing technology like PowerPoint, internet research, word processing, keyboarding skills, math practice, iPads and Smart Boards into their curriculum activities.
Reading: Students explore various genres through individual choice books, literature circles and class books. They begin to generate in-depth responses to literature, including what can be inferred. Students develop skills as active, informed readers who formulate questions, visualize, synthesize, make connections and become increasingly insightful interpreters of what they read.
Writing: Using the writing process, students create descriptive, expository, personal narratives and fictional narratives. Mini-lessons and individual conferences develop skill with structure, voice and mechanics. Writing practice includes articulating a thesis, evidence and analysis. Wordly Wise helps students develop vocabulary and spelling skills.
The fifth-grade curriculum reinforces computational skills and applications while also encouraging students to investigate the how and why behind mathematical concepts. Students deepen their understanding of, and fluency with, estimation, problem-solving, multidigit multiplication and division, fractions and decimals (adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing), geometry, data and graphing, and algebraic thinking. Direct instruction, class and small group discussions, hands-on practice and interactive games are some of the methods used to engage students’ mathematical thinking.
Students investigate and conduct experiments while studying topics in the scientific strands of living things, earth sciences and chemistry. They begin to develop and test their own theories using the scientific method and precise laboratory skills. They create films, demonstrate and diagram scientific concepts, and work cooperatively to establish theories and explore the interdependency of science.
The study of United States history and government are the cornerstones of the social studies curriculum. Students explore U.S. states and regions, colonial times, the Revolutionary War, systems of government, court systems and current events. Through hands-on, interactive experiential projects, research, and discussions, students learn about and interact with history and events from multiple perspectives and viewpoints.
Favorite activities are a focus in fifth grade as students learn related vocabulary and phrases. These are used to further students’ understanding of grammatical rules. Students learn to conjugate key verbs both orally and in writing.
Library, Media and Technology:
Weekly library trips continue and increase when units revolving around research are included. Students use individual iPads, provided by Chadwick, to do the majority of their word processing, math homework, presentations and much, much more. They are leading the school in the 1:1 technology program.
Reading: Students have many opportunities to evaluate, interpret, analyze and discuss literature, with a focus on responding critically to the text. Nonfiction reading requires students to independently integrate information to develop deeper understanding of a topic.
Writing: Students learn to write in a variety of forms for different audiences using the writing process (including planning, revising and editing), and incorporating descriptive language, details and imagery to enhance ideas. This includes incorporating information on specific topics from a variety of sources, and revising drafts for word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. Students also have ongoing opportunities to write fiction pieces, personal statements and reflections, and nonfiction reports.
Students explore pre-algebra, proportions, ratios, statistics, probability, data and geometry. Other topics include: broken line graphs, basic logic strategies, scientific notation, notation of exponents, two-variable algebraic equations, isometric transformations, and Pythagorean Theorem. There is a continued emphasis on problem solving, reasoning and communication, essential meta-skills for mathematicians.
Earth sciences are a major focus in sixth grade. Topics such as seismology, geology and weather are studied, as well as chemistry and physics. Learning to think and work like a scientist is an emphasis as students are engaged in frequent labs, keep a lab notebook, and develop scientific skills. The students frame questions and conduct investigations. The sixth-grade trip to the Catalina Island Marine Institute launches the school year with a study of oceanography.
Our interdisciplinary language arts and social studies course focuses on the theme of acknowledging differences, noting similarities, and emphasizing interdependence and an awareness of different perspectives. Non-western history and geography is studied through themes of ethnicity, culture and religion. Students write and perform cultural holiday plays in December, and guest speakers throughout the year help bring the curriculum to life.
Language options expand to include French, Mandarin and two levels of Spanish. Students develop language skills through speaking, listening, reading and writing with activities appropriate to the needs of the learners. Students also uncover the relationship between language and culture.
Library, Media and Technology:
When units revolve around research, visits to the library increase. Students utilize reference guides and databases. They use technology to create iMovies individually and collectively create one about the sixth-grade program to share with incoming students. They use a wide variety of technology, especially in science class, where they have access to laptop computers. They make podcasts, Glogsters, blogs and use Wikis to communicate and collaborate with each other and their friends at Chadwick International school in South Korea.
Learning how to become resilient, resolve conflicts, and understand oneself and others are basic to a satisfying life. The Village supports character development through our core values: respect, responsibility, compassion, honesty and fairness. The development of such skills and qualities is an integral part of the K-6 education at Chadwick.
The Village actively supports the following skills and dispositions in children, ages 8 to 12:
• Using the core values to guide their behavior
• Understanding that there is more than one valid perspective or way to solve a problem
• Developing appreciation for diversity in many forms
• Thinking through problem situations, anticipating likely outcomes, and adjusting behavior
• Showing respect for others
• Negotiating disputes and navigating discord
• Admitting missteps and taking responsibility for their own actions and choices
• Honing skills for making friends and entering groups
• Understanding the feelings and perspectives of peers
• Becoming assertive, finding one’s voice
• Coping with peer pressure to conform
• Learning to set boundaries
• Choosing friends thoughtfully
• Developing peer leadership skills
• Dealing with conflict among friends