Independent, Integrated, Individualized
Our curriculum is defined for students ages 5 through 14 and designed to create the capacity within our students to be skilled, strategic, independent learners.
At its core lie instruction in language and literacy. Language, reading, and writing are essential for learning in life and for all learning in school. Facility in the use of language—whether listening, speaking, reading, or writing to understand, communicate, and develop higher-level thinking skills—is prioritized across the grades. Language competency, the acquisition of literacy skills, and the development of cognitive strategies are the foundation of Gateway’s curriculum.
Carefully organized, the curriculum weaves together instruction in skills, strategies, and content. As students learn about a historical event, for example, they acquire a skill (such as note-taking) that is necessary for understanding and remembering. At the same time, they will reflect on when and how best to employ that skill to learn in the same or another circumstance. The curriculum is sequential. Over the years, the skills become more complex and are combined into strategies. Information and concepts become increasingly abstract. It is integrated across subjects. Lessons in Reading and Writing/English Language Arts focus on the same topics students are learning in Social Studies/Humanities. While this is desirable in any school, integration takes on greater importance at Gateway because our students benefit significantly from reinforcement, the opportunity to make connections between what they know, and practice when generalizing skills and strategies from one subject or setting to another.
Our curriculum endows students with an overall framework for knowledge. United by the theme of “community,” Lower School students explore the world initially from their own vantage point. As they grow older, their study of the society and nature gradually draws them into their community and the world at large. In Middle School, students adopt an objective perspective and study how communities of varying size and in different locations have organized and perpetuated themselves over time. They explore the phenomena and forces of the natural world. Through essential questions and enduring understandings, students develop a framework for organizing and remembering that supports learning while at Gateway, and into which they can integrate new information in subsequent school settings, especially college preparatory high schools.
Finally, the Gateway curriculum is designed to bring the concept of community alive. From its thematic presence in the academic curriculum and in the management of every group dynamic, Gateway makes obvious to students and guides them to reflect on their role as a participant in a community. Preparing and equipping each student to join, participate in, and contribute meaningfully to a community of their choosing abides as a long-term goal of the school program.