Learning in the world
At MWS, students learn through doing. Throughout grade and middle school, students expand their academic understanding through hands-on experiences beyond the classroom By learning through experience, students gain confidence, deepen their learning and cultivate a healthy interest in the world around them
Field Trips and Class Trips
Visits to local businesses, non-profit organizations, farms, orchards and parks form an important part of our grade and middle school programs. Our teachers build field trips into their class curricula. Third graders visit local farms as part of their study of human subsistence, while seventh graders tour a state weather center during a block on meteorology. These experiences allow students to expand their perspectives and connect what they’re learning in the classroom to the world beyond.
Beginning in third grade, a highlight of every student’s year is an overnight class trip. Class trips extend classroom learning. They offer students the chance to apply concepts learned in class and develop confidence in the world. Grade school class trips include an overnight at a working farm, a multi-day hike in the White Mountains, and a visit to the state capital. In middle school, students fund raise and plan week-long trips further afield—to Quebec City, Acadia National Park or New York City. .
Students inhabit their language arts curriculum each spring by performing a class play. Figures from Norse myth, Egyptian history, and familiar musicals delight audiences every year. Behind the scenes, each class works together to practice scenes, build sets and sew costumes. Students learn what they can accomplish through collaboration and hard work, and gain public speaking skills.
Musical performances are another venue for students to shine. Each student at MWS participates in chorus, as well as band or orchestra. Yearly concerts allow students to experience the satisfaction of making music together and bringing it to parents and friends.
Our students get plenty of time to move each day, with daily recess and physical education classes. We also offer students to chance to engage in sports after school through middle school soccer and basketball programs, skiing and skating, circus arts and mountain biking. While our athletic programs emphasize skill-building and friendship, our middle school teams compete in a regional league of independent schools. Many of our students also participate in competitive sports through Keene Middle School and their municipal sports leagues.
Experience in Nature
Time in nature remains a vital part of daily routines in our grade and middle school. Our students garden, hike, skate, sled and enjoy twice-daily recess as part of an active approach to learning. From our location in downtown Keene, nearby parks, paths and recreation areas become places to learn—whether in physical education, art, math, botany or geology. This learning remains inspired by the wonder and appreciation for nature we foster through a festival life that celebrates the changing seasons and sustained time outdoors.
At MWS, we embrace opportunities to contribute positively to our larger community. On both campuses, our students engage in age-appropriate community service projects—from making soup for a local cold-weather shelter to volunteering to clean up local streams. Around the holidays, classes lead drives to collect books, food, winter gear and gifts for area children in need. Our alumni students have partnered with a public elementary school in Keene to offer an after school art program for area students. In turn, our students learn more about the region where they live and discover that they can make a difference through their actions.