REAL WORLD EXPERIENCES
Woodlawn’s Upper School students are provided with learning experiences beyond the classroom from overnight trips, international travel, and integrated humanities to intermezzo. It is within these distinctive elements that our students continue to learn essential skills for their lives in the real world.
GOAL SETTING + MINDSHIFTS
STRENGTHS, TALENTS + INTERESTS
FOUNDATIONS + FUTURES
Our Foundations & Futures program is a systematic approach to help students learn more about their own strengths, talents, and interests. Through guided discovery, students build self-advocacy skills as they learn more about their own unique talents and strengths while assessing areas of growth as a learner and contributing members of the Woodlawn community.
In subsequent years, student-driven inquiry drives exploration into possible professions through a variety of research and networking opportunities – such as visiting presenters, personal interviews, mentorship, and externships. When students are ready to engage in a professional mentor relationship within our community, they have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of future professions and/or research interests, which will lead to their senior capstone project.
The following questions serve as Guided Inquiries during this four year journey:
9th Grade: What are my natural talents and abilities? What are my strengths? How can I build upon my strengths and how can I develop systems that help me better manage things that are hard for me?
10th Grade: How can I pursue excellence in my passions, how can I best utilize my strengths? What careers and professions align with things I love? Who can be my mentor?
11th grade: What are ways I can gain experience in those careers and professions? What would be a great internship for me? How can I learn to network and create opportunities for myself?
12th grade: What colleges and universities offer the best opportunity for me to pursue excellence in my areas of passion? Where will my passions, interests, and abilities lead me? How can I open those doors?
A Demonstration Of Mastery
At Woodlawn School, “our mission is to produce independent, lifelong learners who are responsible, contributing members of a diverse global society.” As senior students near the end of their Woodlawn experience, the Capstone Project provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding and fulfillment of the school’s mission. Students meet requirements throughout the year that address each part of the mission statement. Through successful completion of the Capstone Project, students demonstrate their mastery of the school’s core values and are ready to move forward as graduates of Woodlawn School.
distinguishing fact from opinion
Humanities classes connect history, art history, literature, creative writing, foreign language, and drama whenever possible to deepen course content and critical thinking skills. With an emphasis on group and individual project work, writing to learn, and Socratic-seminar style discussion, the Humanities program hones student abilities to articulate questions, distinguish fact from opinion, analyze and synthesize information, and write and speak intelligently about world literature and cultural development.
Mutual Trust and Respect
Honor Code and Council
Our Honor Code states: “On my honor, I will conduct myself with personal and academic integrity.”
Woodlawn’s community of mutual trust and respect is grounded in the Code of Honor. An honor code helps students understand the importance of honesty, integrity, and respect. Students on the council are elected by upper school faculty and senior council members, all of whom are charged with upholding the Code throughout the school year.
No Ordinary Fieldtrips
Our class excursions are no ordinary field trips! The campus empties out late spring as classes pack loaded vans and head off on an adventure, some for an entire week. The trips are always connected to an area of study at each grade level, and often include college visits while en route.
Immersed in a culture
Through the international travel program at Woodlawn, Upper School students are immersed in a culture through the art, architecture, history, language, food, and traditions. Students learn to appreciate the challenges and pleasant surprises of traveling in a foreign land. Upper School students have an opportunity to travel abroad every year.
dedicated to community building
Each week, the entire upper school connects during Common Hour, a period dedicated to community-building. Sometimes Common Hour is academic in nature, with a guest speaker, TED Talk, or student/faculty discussion, but Common Hour is also host to some of our favorite upper school competitions: Ginger Bread House building, tree decorating, pumpkin carving, and the annual Quidditch match.
A break from the larger "movement"
Twice a year, the upper school student body and faculty take 2-3 days away from the normal coursework and curriculum in order to participate in the upper school’s intermezzo. In music, an intermezzo is an instrumental interlude which connects larger pieces of a dramatic movement; similarly, at Woodlawn, the intermezzo is a break from the larger “movement” of the school year that still forms vital connections between courses and to the larger mission of the school and our curriculum.
Starting with community building
Rather than heading straight to classes the first week, students in upper school spend the first two days of the school year engaged in discussion and activities that build community and foster camaraderie. Students meet their teacher-advisors, participate in advisory forums, and discuss the school’s mission and culture.
CELEBRATING OUR PAST + PRESENT
Woodlawn'S HOMECOMING Day
Woodlawn’s oldest tradition comes once a year, early in the fall, and is a campus-wide event for Homecoming. In honor of Dr. George Stinson (the original landowner of Woodlawn’s historic campus), we center the day around celebrating the history of our campus and our athletics programs. The day starts off with a pep rally, Varsity Volleyball and Soccer matches, jump houses, and food trucks to celebrate our 20-year history and thriving community of lifelong learners.
Exploring the art, architecture, history, language, food, and traditions of a region are central to Woodlawn’s Upper School experience.
Reilly (along with his three siblings) took full advantage of the opportunities that were provided by Woodlawn. One memorable moment occurred when he helped the boy’s cross country team earn Woodlawn’s first state championship trophy. But he was especially passionate about the sciences and immediately gravitated to the Physics and Astronomy programs when he arrived at Haverford. He attributes his readiness to be successful in these fields to one of the hallmarks of the Woodlawn experience – and its project-based curriculum.
– Reilly M. ’15
Haverford College ’19 | Major: Physics and Astronomy
Astrophysics PhD student at UNC Chapel Hill
hoops + more
Woodlawn fields over a dozen, competitive “no-cut” teams for middle and upper school students in cross country, track & field, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, tennis and golf. Our alumni participate in NCAA teams in college and Woodlawn is uniquely able to support the special needs of exceptional athletes.