Curiosity is what makes people reach beyond what is expected, what is ordinary, and what is comfortable to make themselves smarter, happier, more involved, and more interesting.
It is what makes the world a wondrous place.
We are constantly reminded at GUS of the insatiable curiosity with which we are all born. At Glen Urquhart School, we work to feed and sustain that nascent joy and curiosity to frame authentic learning from kindergarten to eighth grade. We don’t want students to ever lose the wonder with which they entered the world.
Approaching the world with curiosity makes learning real and true. We see that in classrooms and on field trips as students ask honest questions and make keen observations about numbers and letters, hermit crabs and house sparrows, journal entries and math challenges, solar energy and the Latin roots of words, Open Circle and Life Skills. Every January, for example, GUS 8th graders describe the artistic inspiration for and technical approaches to their White Shirt projects. Some are already dedicated artists; for others, the White Shirt project represents a first real foray into an immersive creative experience. No matter the students’ backgrounds, they find ways to make the project reveal something about who they are and how they view the world.
Learning pursued in these ways keeps curiosity alive. And that may be the greatest gift we can give our students at Glen Urquhart School. We offer a challenging program, one that is thoughtfully and intentionally so. As much as we witness excitement about learning at GUS, we never hear students really complain about the work. School here keeps curiosity alive while eschewing rigor simply for the sake of rigor. We keep school fun—which much of learning should be—even as we develop dedication to the process along with stamina and determination.
GUS graduates move on to secondary school emboldened by their curiosity, eager to deepen their joyful experience of learning. We often hear from secondary school admission officers and teachers that GUS students ask different kinds of questions, questions that show a desire for deeper understanding. And that aligns perfectly with our mission to encourage students “to explore their intellects and develop their imaginations; pose questions as often as they devise solutions; speak individually, yet work collaboratively; discover the best within themselves; respect all people and value their differences; and act responsibly in our community and in the world.”
As a school, it is our mission to keep curiosity alive. What does that mean for our children? It means a strong academic foundation is essential, but not nearly enough. Our program is built on posing questions, making meaning, and solving problems creatively. How does one discipline inform another? Where do literature, science, mathematics, language, music, art, and history intersect? This integration is the very essence of our interdisciplinary curriculum.