The Country School facilitates an understanding of and engagement with the broader world through deliberate programs that encourage students to embrace differences, explore new perspectives, and find common ground in a multicultural world. Through our global language curriculum, in-depth international studies and STEAM explorations at each grade level, visiting speakers, and cultural arts events, our students gain an appreciation for perspectives and cultures beyond their own. Our International Student Program, Model UN, overseas trips during spring break, and service learning projects with international partners give students opportunities to engage in a hands-on way with global issues and individuals.
Our school Mission calls upon our students to serve the common good, while one of our three major school rules asks them to take responsibility for yourself and your world. The Global Citizenship program is an essential component of our 11-year curriculum aimed at preparing our students to lead in our increasingly complex, interconnected, global community.
Children will be introduced to the Spanish language. They will learn basic greetings, colors, numbers, animals, food, weather, clothing and directions. Spanish is incorporated in an interactive way, through song, dance, art and games, incorporating Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) and Responsive Classroom. Particular emphasis will be on the repetition of vocabulary and commands.
In Primary School, Spanish is an extension and an expansion of the fundamental concepts started in early childhood education. Children will expand upon their basic knowledge of the Spanish language, reviewing such topics as basic greetings, weather, colors and numbers. Students will additionally learn forms of transportation, body parts, clothing and parts of the house. Spanish is incorporated in an interactive way, through song, dance, art and games, incorporating Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) and Responsive Classroom. As with other grades, particular emphasis will be on the repetition of vocabulary and commands.
Children will improve their Spanish while in 4th and 5th Grade, expanding their vocabulary and learning basic grammar and expressions. Children will review topics of study from previous years (weather, numbers, colors, etc.), and learn to talk about themselves, their family and the world around them, and begin basic conjugation of verbs. Students will engage in listening, speaking, reading and writing activities.
Middle SchoolFrench - Introduced in 5th Grade
Our French program is based around a method of learning called Comprehensible Input (CI). The goal of CI is for students to acquire the language, not just learn about a language or the grammatical structures of a language. We will help students acquire French in much in the same way that those around us taught us our first language, by listening and connecting words and meaning naturally. Because of the nature of CI, we will not depend on a textbook this year, but will depend on students being able to understand the meaning of what is being said or presented to them. It does not mean that teachers must use only words that students understand. In fact, students learn a new language best when they receive input that is just a bit more difficult than they can easily understand. In other words, students may understand most, but not all, words the teacher is using. We will provide students with a variety of sources for comprehensible input, ranging from student created characters and stories, news articles, movies and the Internet. We will also focus on developing reading skills, since this is one of the most valuable sources of input for students. Graded readers and dedicated reading time in class will help students transition into reading authentic texts over the course of their studies. We will also continue to fold in short lessons on grammar and culture. Our primary focus will be on listening and reading, helping students grow into the skills of speaking and writing.
Middle School Spanish will be an expansion of Spanish from the previous years. Students will continue reviewing and learning new vocabulary and grammar tenses.
Particular focus will be on -er, -ir and -re verbs in the present, past and future tenses, and stem-changing and irregular verbs as well. In accordance with their textbook, students will explore Spain and Cuba. Students will gain confidence in their language ability through interactive activities integrating listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Latin - 7th - 8th Grade
Our textbook, Ecce Romani, introduces the students to the language of the Ancient Romans. For each chapter, vocabulary lists are studied and copied into each student’s notebook. We not only work on vocabulary for retention and translation, but also study the etymology of the words and search for English derivatives.
Grammar and Mechanics
Grammar is the other core part of Latin. Students will be introduced to the sentence structure, terminology, and design of the Latin language so as to be able to translate and ultimately write in the Latin language. Early Latin I grammar includes the nominative, accusative, dative and ablative cases. Students also study the tenses for verbs, the first and second declensions for nouns, and adjective-noun agreement.
Each chapter of Ecce Romani includes a translation passage that utilizes new and past vocabulary as well as building on new and previous topics in grammar. The goal is to have students read and translate for understanding, speed and accuracy. The Romans Speak for Themselves is another text that allows students to translate the works of ancient Latin authors, but the grammar and vocabulary is adjusted for where they are in the course.
Throughout the course, the culture and history of the Roman Empire is further investigated. Reading primary sources in the target language is one way students are introduced to the ideas and events of Ancient Rome. Students also look at mythology and legends connected to the Romans. We also study modern examples where Latin is found today.
Although Latin is no longer a spoken language, students will learn some of the basic terms used to speak in the target language. Emphasis is placed on proper pronunciation and usage.
Below, students share a Spanish exercise at Lower School Meeting.
Country School students learn about UNICEF's work through a local student committed to supporting children in crisis across the globe.
Independent reading isn't just for the English classroom.
Reading, writing and acting in Spanish
The Country School participated in the National Spanish Exam, National French Exam and the National Latin Exam with excellent results!