Village School students are bursting with curiosity and eager to soak up as much knowledge as they can.

Our hands-on curriculum sparks a relationship to learning that’s fun and exciting. In the process, students establish a deep appreciation for the diverse and dynamic world around them. 

The Village School curriculum puts students at the center of a program driven by our core competencies and core values with a focus on building character; fostering curiosity and engagement; and developing skills and understandings in literacy, mathematics, science and social studies that provide a strong foundation for lifelong learning. 

The Village curriculum intentionally incorporates physical education, global languages, visual and performing arts, makerspace, and technology into the students' daily experience. By the sixth grade, academics align more closely with the Middle School. Students manage their own schedule; make choices regarding arts, physical education and language; and they engage in more academic research projects that offer new opportunities to share their learning.

Village School Curriculum

Literacy

Real reading and writing lie at the heart of every day at Chadwick. Teachers guide students to build the essential skills they need to flourish as independent thinkers, readers, and writers. Reading and writing workshop groups and one-on-one conferences with teachers help students move from the basics of handwriting, phonics and spelling into exploring many genres and text types, writing fictional and informational texts, and discussing literature. Unit topics such as friendship, the human body, farm to table, and the diversity of Los Angeles inspire students to learn more about themselves, others, and the world.

In the Lower Village (K-2), weekly visits to the Village library help students establish a deep appreciation for stories and books. In the Upper Village (3-6), students continue with the reading and writing workshop model to read, write and critically interpret texts with increasing insight, accuracy and depth. With frequent opportunities to write fiction pieces, persuasive arguments and nonfiction reports, students learn to write in various forms for different audiences. Students confidently express their ideas in written, verbal and visual form. 

Students also advance their technological skills, developing responsible digital habits while using a variety of tools to tell stories, share and collaborate with others, problem solve, and build coding and engineering skills.  

 

Mathematics

In the Village, math is taught as a real-world subject so that students grasp its aliveness in their daily lives. Every level of Chadwick's mathematics program remains grounded in authentic, rich problem solving tasks that stretch students’ thinking and build the ability to question, make connections, and transfer learning to real world contexts. Students develop increasingly challenging mathematical competencies with a focus on three key elements: procedural fluency, conceptual understanding and problem-solving.

Mathematics in the Lower Village (K-2) emphasizes big thinking in the context of small numbers in order to build strong flexibility and number sense. Students don't just learn to follow procedures, but they understand the meaning of procedures. The deeper understanding developed in kindergarten and first grade enables the faster development of skills that begins in second and third grade.

In the Upper Village (3-5), students expand their understanding of place value and patterns to develop flexible strategies for multiplication and division, including work with decimals and fractions.

Science

In the Village, students investigate a broad array of scientific concepts in the Physical, Biological, Chemical and Earth Sciences. Students learn to think and work like scientists, engaging in frequent lab investigations, keeping a lab notebook, asking questions, developing models, testing their own ideas and analyzing data. The Chadwick canyon provides the perfect backdrop for exploring surrounding environments through a scientific lens and learning to hypothesize outcomes. 

Social Studies

Respect for individual, social and cultural differences is a key focus as students journey through time, culture and geography, taking in-depth looks at the historical genesis and current events of California and non-western locales. Students also explore U.S. history and government through experiential projects, research and discussions. Plays written and performed by students, expert guest speakers and field trips to El Capitan and Sacramento help bring this vibrant curriculum to life.

Global Language

The rhythmic sounds and cultural distinctions of Spanish and Korean are learned through an infusion of songs, poetry, storytelling, games and movement. Starting in kindergarten, this interactive learning helps students comprehend, speak and appreciate different languages. Exploring Korea and eastern culture guides Village students to begin to understand and navigate complex factors that shape identity and also prepares them to collaborate with Chadwick’s sister school in South Korea. In sixth grade, every student has a choice to take Spanish, French or Mandarin.

Performing Arts

Starting in kindergarten, the music program begins with singing and develops music appreciation through vocal and instrumental study and performance. Each year, students build upon their understanding of pitch, rhythm and musical literacy, composition and expression, with opportunities to sing and play in the orchestra during concerts. All students sing and learn to play the violin in grade 4 and choose in grade 5 to more deeply explore vocal or instrumental music. Students in each grade build confidence and work on their presentation, listening and speaking skills through drama lessons and class performances. The Village drama teacher also supports K-6 students with the production of talent shows multiple times a year. In grade 6, students can engage in the worlds of instrumental music, vocal music, drama and dance — each for one trimester.

Visual Arts

Chadwick Village students immerse themselves in the visual arts, working with a variety of media that includes clay, paint, watercolor, pencil and more. In addition to expressing their own creativity, Chadwick artists learn foundational techniques and about artistic masters through in-class lessons and field trips to local museums and landmarks.

In sixth grade, options expand as students choose one media course per quarter based on their personal interest. Among others, options include drawing, painting, mixed media and ceramics.

Character Development

The Village fosters character development through our core values: respect, responsibility, compassion, honesty and fairness. This integral part of the K-6 education emphasizes that understanding oneself and others, becoming resilient and resolving conflicts are crucial to a successful and satisfying life.

The Village uses evidence-based social emotional programs to teach children a common language for managing conflict and creating a culture rooted in respect and kindness. The Second Step program teaches specific information and skills to help students develop healthy relationships and effectively navigate conflict. Responsive Classroom, a program applied at each grade level, is an additional evidence-based approach that focuses on the strong relationship between academic success and social-emotional learning.

Life Skills & Social-Emotional Learning

In the Village School, children develop strong learning habits and learn critical interpersonal skills like self-advocacy, consideration, cooperation, collaboration and negotiation. The Responsive Classroom model, Second Step program, and incorporation of mindfulness practices promote resilience and wellness, help students make choices that reflect the core values, and build a strong community. In sixth grade, a focus on social-emotional growth expands to include student meetings in small groups with individual advisors four times a week. 

With the thoughtful guidance of our teachers, Village School children become increasingly self-aware and adept at:

Lower Village

  • Understanding and living by Chadwick’s 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 
  • Building persistence, resilience and confidence in the face of difficulties

Upper Village

  • Understanding that there is more than one valid perspective or way to solve a problem 
  • Developing an appreciation for diversity in its many forms 
  • Thinking through challenging situations, anticipate likely outcomes and adjust behavior based on our core values
  • Understanding and respect the feelings and perspectives of others 
  • Setting boundaries, negotiate conflict among friends and cope with peer pressure to conform
  • Choosing friends thoughtfully and hone skills for entering new groups 
  • Admitting missteps and take responsibility for their own ideas, choices and behaviors
  • Being assertive, find their true voice and develop peer leadership skills 

See how Village School students go beyond academics to explore, expand and express themselves.

beyond the classroom