Natural World Program
The Oak Hill School setting and landscape is truly something special-- 72 acres of rare (in these days) oak savannah, rolling hills and views of the Cascades. There are myriad birds (ring-necked doves, woodpeckers, stellar jays, grouse, ospreys, wild turkeys, etc.) On quiet days, when the boisterous students are not around, deer sometimes wander through the playground.
We look to use our campus as another learning environment. Well-marked trails weave through the woods, primed for exploration. Our science and art classes head to the pond for assignments. Our second grade learns beekeeping as part of their science curriculum. The 4th grade simulates a trip along the Oregon Trail with their own wagon train through the woods and over the hills, following their maps and intuition.
Our campus is important to us and we impart that dedication to our students through our Lower School Natural World curriculum.
The Natural World program takes our youngest students (PK-5th) and takes them out into them out into the campus wilds. They look for animal footprints (and make plaster casts of them) then learn to identify tracks and birdsongs. It's a hoot to listen to a 2nd grader expound upon various animal scat and pronounce the identification. The students learn confidence as well as the importance of conservation, of value the world that surrounds us.
The Natural World program is a direct lead-in to our middle school Outdoor Pursuits Program.