Each learning opportunity in the Nature curriculum has been developed to connect with the seasonal environment making learning relevant, rich and meaningful for the children. Learning is based on the changes occurring in the natural world and in the backyard of Riverbend School. Toddler and Primary students have Nature class, participating in nature walks and observing nature in action. With a hands-on and inquiry-based approach, the lessons are child-centered. Nature lessons coincide with classroom themes, so that these skills are continuously reinforced. The goal is to learn science skills while gaining an appreciation and respect for the natural world. Activities include movement games, observation using all the senses, dancing, singing and exploring. Most lessons incorporate math and language to further practice in the classroom.
Forest Fridays is a weekly program for Kindergarten Primary students where students spend a three-hour block in nature study. The experience begins with lunch as a community of learners, a lesson focus, and then ample time for guided and free outdoor exploration. This area of study is a key element of Riverbend’s culminating year in the Children’s House.
Lower Elementary students gathers for Nature class on a weekly rotation for the entire school year. The curriculum is similar to that which is offered in Children’s House, adjusted to meet the needs and capacities of older students.