A campus is the backdrop for magical thinking
Rich with woodlands, trails, a pond, high and low ropes challenge courses, athletic fields, and almost 160,000 square feet of indoor learning space, our teachers have the resources to bring learning to life and spark our students’ imaginations.
Renbrook classrooms are simply the launch point for imaginative curriculum design.
At every age, our teachers use our natural surroundings to bring learning to life – at our pond, on three playgrounds, on miles of campus trails, on our high and low ropes Challenge Courses, and on our abundant athletics fields.
Our Campus Brings the Abstract to Reality
In Junior Kindergarten, students do a deep dive into the life cycle of butterflies and focus on the vulnerability of the Monarch Butterfly. Students identify eggs on wild milkweed in our butterfly gardens, observe the growth of Monarch chrysalises inside the classroom, and track the journey of tagged Monarchs as they travel to Mexico. Students and teachers led an advocacy project to plant a protected pollinator garden on campus and registered Renbrook as an official weigh station for the Monarch Butterfly's migration.
In Grade Three, Renbrook students learn, discuss, and write about the laws, social codes, daily life, and government during the time of Westward Expansion. A major focus of that unit of study pertains to the varying experiences and perspectives of pioneers, politicians, and Native Americans. In addition to learning through the resources of primary sources and digital content, our students participate in a unique Oregon Trail simulation where they construct covered wagons and work in groups to move the wagons throughout our expansive campus and miles of trails. We believe that authentic learning experience is critical for our students, not only to engage in learning but for them to care about the content and find purpose in their work.
The purpose of the Vantage Point Project in the seventh-grade Life Science course is to photo-document changes at our pond throughout the school year. Students identify their favorite space at the pond, and they visit that location throughout the year. Each student takes a photo of their unique view of the pond, and they write observations on what they see, hear, and smell. There are eight weekly visits at the beginning of the year to capture the autumnal changes, and then monthly visits occur the rest of the year. There is no substitute for experiencing first-hand how plants and animals prepare for the winter and how rapidly they take advantage of higher temperatures and increased daylengths in the spring.
Nature is central to the learning experience at Renbrook
Learning outdoors develops grit and resilience, providing authentic learning opportunities in math, science, STEAM, literacy, social studies, and so many more.