Riverbend School holds a number of traditions and events that enhance the academic experience of its students, and build on its distinctive culture and community.
Throughout the school year, students in grades K – 8 are invited to participate in assemblies. Some, coordinated by our Parents’ Association, are geared towards enhancing the curriculum through outside performers and presenters who bring expertise in areas such as cultural dance, instrumental arrangements, animal behaviors, and more. Others are planned and performed by the students themselves, who share parts of our curriculum and their individual artistic talents through music, dance, poetry, and other offerings.
Back to School Night: This special informational evening invites parents and guardians to visit their child’s classroom community and meet the teacher(s) that will be working with him/her/them throughout the school year. It is designed to give an overview of how the classroom operates, and inform families of how best they can support their child and teachers, and remain engaged in the educational experience.
Middle School White Mountains Trip: Each fall, Middle School students and teachers embark on a four-day trip to New Hampshire for an outdoor team-building experience. Scheduled at the beginning of the school year, it offers students the opportunity to get to know their teachers and each other through physical activities and fun, collaborative challenges.
Riverbend Fall Festival: This all-school event is run in partnership with our teachers, the Parent’s Association and our Middle School, Upper Elementary, and recent alumni who host members of our community. Community-building events include a pancake breakfast, crafts, activities, and entertainment. In addition, families can support the Upper Elementary spring overnight trip to Sargent Center in NH by getting their car washed.
5th & 6th Grade Museum of Science Overnight: Every November, fifth and sixth grade students enjoy an exciting night of exploring the Museum after hours! Activities include hands-on activities, workshops, live animal presentations, and a lightning show, all before setting up to camp overnight. The following day, after breakfast, students continue to explore and will view both a planetarium show and an Omni film before returning to Riverbend for lunch.
Grandparents and Special Friends Day: Each year we celebrate the grandparents and special friends of our students. Guests are invited to see the children’s work, sing songs, and have refreshments. It is a wonderful opportunity for the students to practice their grace and courtesy skills as they host visitors in their school environment.
Holiday Reception: As we head into the holiday season and reflect on the year, families and teachers of Riverbend join together for a festive adult-only evening with good food and cheer.
Winter Show: The Winter Show is an opportunity for students to celebrate the holiday season with each other and our community. Taking place in two parts; younger students perform fun holiday tunes and older students perform in various ensembles, which often include alumni.
Children’s House Classroom Holiday Celebrations: Each winter holiday season, Children’s House families and students are welcomed to come together for a festival party in the classrooms. Children will sing songs and do holiday crafts with their families before heading off for the holiday break!
Family Skating Party: Celebrate the New Year with a fun hour of skating for the whole family at the William Chase Arena, Natick, MA! This event provides students and families with the opportunity to reconnect after the holidays.
Science Fair/Academic Fair & Art Showcase: This showcase is an opportunity for students from grades K – 8 to explore and present topics that fascinate them, and share their findings with the school community. With the help of our talented Art teachers, Mrs. Ormaza and Mrs. Evans, students at the Upper School set up an Art Showcase, displaying their work for visitors. The Science Fair and the Academic Fair alternate from year to year to give our students room for a variety of exploration!
Kindergarten Valentine’s Day Nursing Home Sing-a-Long: Kindergarten students visit the Riverbend Nursing Home in South Natick to deliver Valentine’s Day cards and provide a mini sing-a-long performance for the residents. Our students experience the joy of bringing smiles to the elderly and reaching out to those in their community.
Family Fun Night: Sponsored by our Parent’s Association, Family Fun Night is an opportunity for families and students to enjoy pizza and games. Grades 1 – 8 play Bingo in the Upper School gymnasium, while Toddlers to Kindergarteners are provided with age-appropriate entertainment, such as an animal show presentation, in Memorial Hall.
Grades 6 – 8 Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) Trip to NYC: MMUN is an academically intensive experience that begins in September and culminates in a trip to New York City in March. While in NYC, our students caucus with 900 fellow Montessori students from across the US. Students research the countries that they will represent and submit position papers on important global issues as part of the UN committee on which they will serve. Our students are looking forward to their 5th year of MMUN—an extremely meaningful experience.
Auction & Gala: Every third year, Riverbend hosts a party and fundraiser for families and supporters of the School. Students in every class create beautiful works of art that are sold in the live auction. Faculty and staff offer unique outings for students. Families and local businesses offer amazing items such as vacation getaways, concert and sports tickets, hosted and catered parties, private dinners at gourmet restaurants, and gift certificates for everything from glider flights to family portraits. There’s something for everyone at the Gala, so please mark your calendar and join us for a night to remember.
Toddler – Lower Elementary International Festival: Toddler through Lower Elementary children study countries from around the world over the course of a month, then celebrate what they’ve learned with their families at our International Festival. Families will be to see the children’s work and learn about the various ways they approached their international studies.
Upper Elementary Sargent Center Trip: Each spring, Upper Elementary students and teachers journey to New Hampshire for three days to Sargent Center’s “Nature’s Classroom.” Sargent Center is located on 700 acres of forest, pond, meadow, river, and bogs and could be described as a place “where students and teachers discover the wonders of ecology and geology that simply can’t be found in books.” Students participate in hiking, team-building challenges, ropes courses, canoeing and more, all with an emphasis on scientific inquiry and critical thinking.
Kindergarten Drama Performances and Tea Party: Each spring, our Kindergarteners prepare a play to present at the end of the year. As participants, children are inspired to create musical theatre performances in a supportive, nurturing, and positive environment, where every child is set up to succeed. Families are invited to see the final production and are invited to a formal tea party prepared and served by the students.
Grade 6 Expert Projects: At the beginning of the school year, grade 6 students choose a topic of interest/passion to research throughout the year and become an expert on. With benchmarks put into place to help students achieve the overall goal of presenting their project to their families, peers and staff, students are able to advance their communication, leadership, and public speaking skills.
Spring Concert for grades K – 8: The Spring Concert is an extraordinary year-end event for students in grades Kindergarten – Grade 8. Under the direction of our music teacher, the concert showcases many diverse student performances, displaying the talents students have honed throughout the year and including a great variety of instruments. This event is always a highlight for both the students and their musical education!
Field Day K-8th grades: Field Day is a favorite for students and staff alike! Our Upper School Physical Education teacher organizes an afternoon full of team events and games. Each team is made up of students from Kindergarten – grade 8, with Middle School students serving as captains. Students are welcome to show their school spirit by dressing from head to toe in their team color!
8th Grade Graduation: Eighth Grade Graduation is one of the most important events at Riverbend. The community has watched our students grow into thoughtful, responsible young adults, making this a culminating event not-to-be-missed! Each student takes a turn to speak about their educational, artistic, and athletic experiences and accomplishments, and is encouraged to share their thoughts on their upcoming transition to one of the area’s top high schools.
Children’s House End-of-Year Event: At the culmination of each year, our Children’s House teachers plan and organize a classroom community event for students to have the opportunity to host their families and demonstrate all that they have learned through the Montessori Grace and Courtesy curriculum.