Class by Class Curriculum

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At Empathy, one of our goals is that our students are learning academics at a deep and holistic level. Empathy School was developed at Harvard by Eric GP and Echo Xui with the assistance of many professional educators and professors. Every aspect of the school from lesson plans to landscape architecture is based on the science of how students learn. We do select aspects of Montessori, Emilio Regio, Waldorf Steine to support our academic programs. We utilize Non-Violent Communication to support our Social Emotional Learning programs because we believe the most important requirement for a student to learn is that they feel physically and emotionally safe within a school setting. In addition, we create much of our own curriculum based on current science. 



Early Years

At this age kids are active and innately curious about learning how the world works.
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Primary (Ages 6-11)

The curriculum in all levels is designed to develop a range of core skills with increasing complexity.
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Social-Emotional learning Classes

Built on the foundation laid out in  Marshall Rosenburg’s Nonviolent Communication.
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Leveled Science classes 

Science lessons aim to deepen the conceptual knowledge of Nature
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Middle School (ages 12-14)

To be continue
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Preschool (Ages 2-4)

Entering Preschool from age 2 to 4 is an exciting milestone in a child's life. At this age kids are active and innately curious about learning how the world works, as they are guided to experience a wide variety of classes that expose them to the world. Learning is holistic and it happens everywhere. Kids expand their range of knowledge, increase their social emotional awareness and develop their language abilities with nature inspired, play based activities.

  • We use Montessori learning to support routine development.
  • Students develop an understanding of school rules and agreements on a foundation of Non-Violent Communication
  • Students learn through project based and experience based classes as inspired by both Emilio Regio and Waldorf Steiner systems

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Nature and art

Routinely, the children go out in the morning to learn and appreciate the abundance of nature around them. Collecting various bits of flowers, leaves, and other plants to bring back to the classroom, where they can use them to make craft and art projects. At this time, children participate in perma-culture study where they learn which and why plants grow well in this environment. They also learn which insects and animals are harmful to our plants and which help them grow better.

Pre-K Numbers

In Pre-K Numbers-classes, we teach kids basic numbers. Kids practise mathematical thinking by doing meaningful classroom activities, playing games and interacting with nature. Kids are constantly exposed to a wide range of shapes and materials that nature can offer. In Pre-K Number classes we are counting flowers, seeds and animals; organizing and comparing objects in nature.

Big ideas:

  • Understand that numerals stand for number names
  • Recognize shapes in the real world
  • Start sorting things by color, shape, size, or purpose
  • Compare and contrast using classifications
  • Use spatial awareness to put puzzles together
  • Start predicting cause and effect

 

Pre-K Language

In Letters-class, we engage kids in story telling to develop their interest early in reading and also touch the very basics of facts about the world around us. We do this by taking them to nature and practicing the sounds of various animals and plants that really excite them. We also provide our students with storytime every day to help foster an interest in reading and listening. When they’re ready, our kids will start to learn phonics through interactions with the abundant nature around the school. 

Big ideas:

  • Support speaking from words to creating sentences.
  • Sing simple songs in English, use rhymes and made-up words.
  • Talk about what they’re thinking and feeling.
  • Follow simple directions.

Gross motor skills

Gross motor skills are abilities that let us do tasks involving large muscle groups, such as those in our torso, legs, and arms. They involve whole-body movements. We use gross motor skills for all sorts of physical activities such as climbing obstacles, picking and moving produce from permaculture, sports in the field, and swimming.

Fine motor skills

In Fine Motor Skills we teach kids how to develop fine articulation in their hands and fingers by manipulating small objects. This includes using grains of rice to make art projects, chalk to draw on surfaces,  and various similar projects. It enables the kids to gain the ability to manipulate their environment with ease, so that it’d be easier for them to learn more complex skills.

 

Kindness class (Ages 2-5)

The  kindness materials that we have developed are built on the foundation laid out in  Marshall Rosenburg’s Nonviolent Communication. In this class we cover asking for consent, how to share, how to set your own and see others boundaries, learning how to make friends, and we play games to help students know every child and teacher by name. It is these skills that allow students to thrive and create a safe and comfortable  environment for themselves and others.

Big ideas:

  • Non-violent communication              
  • Social skills
  • Understand the importance of personal boundaries
  • Building consent 

Kindergarten (Ages 5-6)

Kids continue the Early years routines with a growing focus on skills that prepare them for future Primary school English language and math concepts. 

  • Lessons have a greater focus on academics, numbers are sourced from Montessori, reading and writing from our partner schools in the USA. Both use as many elements from nature as possible.
  • Our Empathy classes inspired by Non-violent communication, support children in developing impulse control, seeking consent and understanding boundaries.
  • At this age kids are independent and move from class to class under their own willpower. If kids have any issues getting to classes our “Guardians” are there to support them.
  • Our Creative art’s programs are highly influenced by the Waldorf system.
  • Our nature projects use all core skills and are supported by our partners at High Tech High and PBLWorks.

Numbers

Kids learn number names and how to write numbers, beginning with 1-10. Counting happens first with physical objects, then conceptually. Kids are counting forwards and backwards, especially in their head. Kids learn that numbers can be compared: two or more numbers can have a more-than, less-than, or same as-number relationship.

  • Add by counting the fingers on one hand — 1 to 5 — and starting with 6 on the second hand
  • Identify the larger of two numbers and recognize numerals up to 20
  • Conceptual understanding of addition and subtraction
  • Begin to perform simple mental calculations using with addition and subtraction
  • Copy or draw symmetrical shapes

Language arts

Language arts focuses on alphabetical knowledge of individual letters names, sounds and shapes. Kids learn what each letter looks like, what they sound like and how to blend the individual sounds together to make words. Kids build a foundation for reading and writing through play-based activities inspired by nature. 

  • We use Montessori learning to support language development.
  • Build a foundation to promote success in reading and writing
  • Nature and play based activities
  •  Appreciate literature and the joy of reading

At Empathy School we follow the science of learning and because of this the class levels are determined by ability, not by age. The curriculum in all levels is designed to develop a range of core skills with increasing complexity. The Range of core skills are influenced by Montessori, international curriculums and our partners in the USA. Primary kids go independently to daily classes and get more autonomy following their own personal interests. 

  • Learning happens in small groups with individualized learning goals.
  • Groups are based on ability not by age.
  • Multidisciplinary learning that crosses the boundaries of school subjects. 
  • Social-emotional learning inspired by Non-violent communication is integrated across school subjects to support emotional/social awareness, social skills and responsible decision making.

Project Based Learning/Design For Change

In Design for Change, students learn about the larger community beyond their own home and family. They explore how to develop projects to improve the lives of others.

English language

English language classes enable kids to formulate and develop their communicative competences through reading, writing, listening, speaking and linguistic knowledge (pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar). Students are leveled by ability, not by age.

Level 1

Kids learn the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make. Identify "the,"  and "is" and other simple words by sight, while gradually building upon a basic vocabulary. Kids acquire new spelling rules that focus on phonics and learning phonemes used in the English language.  Students start writing with full sentences  and create a variety of different kinds of texts. 

  • Form letters correctly.
  • Develop spelling patterns and strategies.
  • Verbs are action words with different tenses.
  • Understand basic sentence structure.
  • Understand the rules of capitalization.
  • Know how to end a sentence with the appropriate punctuation.
  • Write sentences for a specific purpose.

Level 2

Adding more complicated sounds and learning to decode or "sound out" unfamiliar words. Kids read ability-appropriate books with fluency and can identify a story's beginning, middle, and end. Kids use capital letters with periods and question marks to form short narratives. In level 2 kids start combining simple sentences to write different texts for different audiences and purposes. 

 

 Level 3

By Level 3, students become fluent readers and writers. They may gravitate toward certain genres of books and begin writing their own stories, complete with correct capitalization and punctuation. Correct spelling is emphasized and reinforced through spelling tests. Independent reading is encouraged both in school and for homework.

Level 4

Level 4 reading builds upon students' vocabulary. They learn how to find information in dictionaries and other reference books. Fiction and non-fiction books are longer and more complex. Students write detailed essays and stories that flow logically and have a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Now, they are adding paragraphs or chapters to transition between ideas.

Reading and Writing Level 5

Level 5 reading and writing build upon existing skills. Children explore various types and genres of poetry and stories. They learn synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms, and expand their vocabulary. Level 5 students show their understanding of a book's themes by writing a book report.

Reading and Writing Level 6

Readers and writers in Level 6 dig deeper into stories, analyzing the plot along with key characters and their motives, while further building their own vocabularies. They take a more organized approach to writing, starting with an outline, and moving on to drafting, revising, and completing edits to create a finished piece. Students in level 6 tackle research papers and reports, and may even give oral presentations on various topics.

 

Mathematics

Explore the mathematics that exists all around us, in nature.  Students are leveled by ability, not by age

Math Level 1

In level 1 children learn to recognize numerals and count forwards and backwards to 100, add and subtract numbers to 20 and are introduced to the idea of multiplying and dividing. Kids compare numbers or groups of objects using "more than," "less than," or "equal to." Kids start speaking the language of mathematics using mathematical symbols and creating connections between numbers and shapes. 

  • Count, identify and write numbers.
  • Count to 100; county by 5s and 10s to 100; count by 2s to 40
  • Represent numbers on a number line
  • Knowledge of place value (ones, tens, etc.)
  • Add and subtract 2-digit numbers
  • Have an understanding of quantity (more and less)
  • Familiarity with patterns and shapes
  • Identify, sort and classify 2-dimensional shapes

 

Math Level 2

Kids demonstrate an understanding of numbers and make connections to the way numbers are used in everyday life. Students learn to recognize numerals up to 100 and above. They count by twos, fives and 10s and compute addition and subtraction facts accurately. Kids start learning multiplication and division by grouping numbers,  making arrays and sharing to equal groups. In  level 2, we identify simple shapes and properties of squares, triangles, and circles and investigate the properties and characteristics of two and three dimensional geometric shapes. 

  • Understanding the meaning, uses, and representations for numbers
  • Computing addition and subtraction facts accurately
  • Multiplication as repeated addition, equal groups and arrays. 
  • Division sharing into equal groups.
  • Simple fractions and the concept of a half
  • Analyzing and interpreting data from simple  graphs
  • Using appropriate units and tools making measurements
  • Investigating the two and three dimensional geometric shapes

 

Math Level 3

In Level 3 students become adept at one and two-digit addition and subtraction and learn a variety of methods for solving mathematical problems. Kids acquire more advanced skills in mental math and work to master the multiplication tables, commit them to memory and use multiplication and division to solve problems. Geometrical concepts broaden from recognizing and naming shapes to properties of shapes. 

  • Reading and writing numerals to 100 and to count objects to 100 or more using place value concepts .
  • Addition and subtraction of two digit numbers without regrouping, up to 100, using models and algorithms. 
  • Multiplication tables from two to ten and committing them to memory
  • Exploring number patterns on a hundred charts, combining shapes to form others shapes and investigating the properties and characteristics of two and three dimensional geometric shapes.
  • Recognizing, grouping and comparing fractions.
  • Using appropriate techniques, tools, units and formulas to make measurements and convert between units of measurement
  • Analyzing and interpreting data from different graphs. 

Math Level 4

Children learn more advanced skills in mental math, but they will also learn how to explain the steps they used to solve a problem. In Level 4, math instruction focuses on number theory and systems, algebraic thinking, geometrical figures and objects, measurement of length, weight, capacity, time, and temperature, and data analysis and probability.

  • Adding four digit numbers
  • Estimating sums and differences using rounding and compatible numbers.
  • Subtracting with regrouping
  • Defining multiples, list multiples of a given number and start to multiply and divide  two digit number 
  • Identify factors of a given number and common factors of two given numbers.
  • Exploring the idea of a variable by solving for an unknown quantity in an equation
  • Interpreting charts and graphs with different variables
  • Finding perimeter, area, and volume.
  • Converting between fractions and finding equivalent fractions
  • Introducing and connecting decimals to fractions.
  • Rounding numbers to the nearest tens and hundreds
  • Properties of 2D and 3D shapes. Recognising and naming angles
  • Solving word problems that involve time, and measurement

Math Level 5

In Level 5 students have a strong handle on whole numbers and place value. Mental math becomes more important and kids will be building their abilities to approach math problems from a variety of angles and using a variety of mathematical methods to solve problems.

  • Fluency with reading and writing numbers
  • Use place value to add, subtract, multiply and divide decimals
  • Apply formulas to solve various customary length/weight/capacity/temperature problems
  • Solving problems with decimal points
  • Creating a number sentence or equation from a word problem
  • Finding perimeter and area of a shape by measuring units
  • Combine concepts and operations to solve problems
  • Add, subtract, and multiply fractions. 
  • Connecting percentages to fractions and decimals
  • Measuring and identifying different angles in shapes. angles 
  • Rounding numbers to the nearest ten, hundred, thousand, ten thousand and hundred thousand
  • Interpreting data from graphs. Creating and utilizing different graphs.

 

Nature class

Nature classes teach kids how to observe, think and appreciate nature and the world around them. Kids go on nature walks, investigate, do experiments and explore to experience nature with all senses. We get our hands and feet dirty learning how nature works. We go out and look at nature with magnifying glasses, investigate plants and animals in their natural environment.  Interacting with the natural world helps kids to realize that they are a part of nature and grow appreciation but also show how we have on our surroundings.

  • Classes are inspired by the 12 principles of permaculture. 
  • Kids learn about systems and cycles in nature
  • Taking care of nature and it’s resources: reduce, reuse, recycle.

Social-Emotional learning Classes

The materials that we have developed for social-emotional classes are built on the foundation laid out in  Marshall Rosenburg’s Nonviolent Communication.

Big ideas:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Responsible Decision-Making
  • Relationship Skills
  • Social Awareness

Kindness class(Ages 2-6)

The  kindness. In this class we cover asking for consent, how to share, how to set your own and see others boundaries, learning how to make friends, and we play games to help students know every child and teacher by name. It is these skills that allow students to thrive and create a safe and comfortable environment for themselves and others.

Empathy (Ages 6-9)

In empathy class kids learn how to recognize,name and regulate emotions. Children develop knowledge, self-awareness and personal well-being to build the emotional competencies that help them thrive in both academics and life. Kids get tools to develop positive relationships and responsible choices and most importantly create empathy and understand the viewpoints of others. 

Peacemaking (Ages 9-11)

Following in the footsteps of Empathy classes; peace making helps kids to understand the importance of peacemaking skills in their daily lives. Kids start to realize the causes of conflict from different points of views and provide tools to resolve conflict peacefully. Modeling appropriate behavior, and giving plenty of social interaction to practice and develop their skills prepares them for successful relationships

Leveled Science classes 

Students are placed by ability, not by age. Science lessons aim to deepen the conceptual knowledge of Nature classes by bringing nature literally under the microscope.

Science level 1

In Level 1 science, children learn about the basics regarding the natural world. They discuss the seasons and the weather changes they bring, along with parts of the human body. They learn more about their world through experiments and first-hand exploration, maybe growing their own plants from seeds or caring for a classroom pet.

Science Level 2

In Level 2 science, children learn more about the patterns surrounding us in the natural world, which are broken down into three general categories:

  • Earth sciences (air and weather)
  • Life sciences (plants and animals)
  • Physical sciences (solids and liquids)

They also learn about the scientific process and make and record their own observations about their environment.

Science Level 3

In Level 3 science, students dive deeper into lessons about the earth and the continents. They study how plants spread their seeds to create more plants and may grow plants in school or help care for a school garden.

Science Level 4

Scientific experiments allow Level 4 students to prove or disprove a hypothesis. They imagine the great beyond, learning about the solar system, the sun, and the moon. 

Science Level 5

Science in Level 5 inspires students to think big, covering topics like electricity, energy, and matter. Students learn about different organisms and how to classify them. 

Science level 6

Level 6 science includes lessons on the human body and its systems, basic biology and chemistry, and timely topics like humans' impact on the environment. Students continue learning about the planet, weather, land, and oceans.

Movement class

Movement classes provide cognitive content and instructions designed to develop motor skills, knowledge, and behaviors for physical activity and physical fitness. Movement classes are tangible, they engage fitness through fun and give participants the opportunity to practice a wide variety of skills from juggling to team games to swimming – thus ensuring that there is something for everybody. Kids feel the joy of moving in a safe environment in a non-competitive way.

Arts

Art classes teach kids how to be creative through specific artistic skills and techniques. Kids have chances to learn about painting, drawing, woodcarving, metallurgy, ceramics and music; with opportunities to follow your own artistic heart. Kids learn how to blend colors, handle clay and how to safely use proper tools while working with wood and metals. Art is an integrated part of our curriculum and it is woven into other subjects through projects or individual lessons. 

To be continue. . .