Our Future-Focused Philosophy
Gateway School’s program is designed to shape our students to love learning, work hard, and value intrinsic understanding over external rewards. We want them to have a sense of agency and confidently take action to bring their ideas into reality. We hope they learn to act with grace and courtesy, to stand up for those who need help, and to be unafraid to examine the status quo through appropriate intellectual and social risks.
Our child-centered, future-focused philosophy reflects the belief that students need to build knowledge and skills, not only as an end in-and-of-themselves, but as a means to deeper understanding.
Our educational program weaves together instruction in the three domains of personal relationships, intellectual endeavor, and engagement with society through developmentally-appropriate curriculum that is vibrant and relevant to the lived experiences of children, and that allows them to find lasting meaning in the work.
Our constructivist perspective that learning is an active process requires students to construct knowledge, and create meaning and understanding of their world.
We believe children are inquiring researchers, tireless observers, and capable problem solvers, who are continuously developing skills, and constructing knowledge and understanding as they interact with their environment.
We know children are intrinsically social and learn through social interactions between both peers and the adults in their lives.
We promote a growth mindset that recognizes each person has natural strengths and challenges, and define scholarly self-concept as an incremental learner (not “fixed”).
The school curriculum meets our future-directed mission with the inclusion of new and evolving skills and literacies relevant to students today and to prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow.
Gateway School’s curriculum map is a living document that provides a starting place for our faculty to think about the knowledge and skills they will teach students; emergent child interests and opportunities in the community lead to unique projects or in-depth studies, and interdisciplinary curriculum forms a central element of our program.
While we regularly consult the various standards created by political and professional organizations, we cherish the freedom to be flexible with content and to be responsive to the skills and needs of the students in our school.
Our teachers use a wide variety of instructional strategies to serve our vision of educating students — there is no “one best way” at all times, but rather an intersection of science and art that faculty apply. From direct instruction to collaborative inquiry, workshop methods to project-based learning, independent research to place-based education, our faculty use a wide range of instructional practices..
Differentiation allows faculty to vary instructional techniques and use lesson plans that engage student interests and address distinct learning needs in order to effectively teach as many students as possible.
Our program uses a wide variety of authentic and rigorous assessment tools and techniques including tests and quizzes, public presentations and exhibitions of learning, portfolios, rubrics and much more. Through this rich array of approaches, our teachers develop keen insight into students’ growth as measured against developmental norms and our curricular goals for knowledge and skill.