What a January the Woods has had! Between the snow and the rain, we haven't had much time to play outside in extended care. But that hasn't stopped us from moving our bodies!
We instruct and provide opportunities for our students to become "significant" leaders. Our curriculum encourages students to recognize and seize opportunities to be servant leaders in the course of their academic studies as well as in all aspects of life in The Woods community (service, spirituality, athletics, extracurricular activities).
In our Montessori Preschool, students routinely speak before classmates as they grow in self-awareness, work with others, meet deadlines, and fulfill specific responsibilities for the good of their class community. These experiences provide a foundation for developing a student's character and compassion, vital traits of a successful leader.
In Lower School, students are presented with more formal leadership instruction and opportunities. Students speak and perform in public, grow in compassion and empathy through the arts curriculum, integrate history, world language, and language arts content into reflection on what it means to lead. Signature events at each grade nurture and nourish our students growing self awareness, communication, respect, empathy, decision-making, joy, and tolerance.
In Upper School, teachers infuse character, spirituality, and leadership into the curriculum. In each grade, students are given the opportunity to:
- Think deeply and critically in each subject area,
- Develop a spiritual dimension to their lives based on God's abundant love for each human person,
- Speak in class and public settings,
- Work in small groups,
- Reflect on their contributions to The Woods Academy and how they hope to utilize their experiences at the high school level - through a "Capstone Project" (Portrait of a Graduate at Graduation),
- Define how one can be "significant" in a Grade 7 and 8 seminar dedicated to reflecting on The Woods mission statement,
- Lead classmates in prayer and assist in hosting a Mass (in which students speak and organize a service project),
- Develop meditative skills based on a form of prayer created by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order of priests,
- Utilize the arts to grow in empathy, patience, and self-discipline,
- Acquire cutting edge technology skills to better present ideas in public forums,
- Serve those in need through charity partnerships - for four years each grade aligns with an area charity to support its mission to the community. This real world experience gives students the opportunity to learn and practice service to others as embodied in Catholic Social Teaching,
- Communicate clearly, thoughtfully, and intentionally through the written word, oral presentations, and daily interactions with students and instructors,
- Consider weekly messages in chapels on character, virtue, and students' God given gifts and talents,
- Enroll in after-school and summer programs that focus on servant leadership and STEAM activities,
- Take part in Grade 8 class retreat and experience a night of homelessness, and
- Visit with alumni and community leaders on field trips and as guest speakers in chapels.