Beyond the Classroom



Students at the Valley School spend time outdoors every day, rain or shine. What some students call recess, we refer to as our “second classroom” —a place where students can practice skills from many disciplines while following their own questions, ideas and desires. Our playground is designed to meet the needs of young, growing students and to inspire unstructured, studentled investigations, creations and play. We provide monthly “provocations” to help spark student inquiry, exploration, creativity and collaboration. Valley School students get plenty of exercise and get plenty muddy too.

Playground Provocations include: Hay Bales, Evergreen Tree Delivery, Water Play, Insect Hunting, Carpentry, Fairy Houses, Garden Maintenance, Obstacle Courses, Shovels and Tools, Tires, Tracks & Tarps, Orienteering, Pulleys, Loose Parts, Plant Arrangements, Water Painting, and more


Large and Small Motor Skill Development

Students: Run, Walk, Skip, Crawl, Dig, Lunge, Kick, Climb, Swing, Push, Spin, Pull, Fall, Balance, Tumble, Bounce, Jump, Catch, Pedal, Stretch, Mix, Throw, Pour, Sort, Pick, Build Endurance and Test their Strength


Social and Emotional Development

Students: Experience and manage a range of emotions, Take Risks, Initiate Plans, Share Ideas, Read Emotions, Take Turns, Join Groups, Include Others, Give “I Statements”, Communicate Feelings, Negotiate Rules, Listen, Make Friends, Argue, Advocate for Self and Others, Give Compliments, Take Breaks, Solve Problems, Manage Conflict, Care for Others, Determine Fairness, Demonstrate Kindness, Have FUN


Students: Ask questions, Experiment, Seek Answers, Test and Retest Ideas, Classify, Sort, Measure, Estimate, Weigh, Balance, Observe, Predict, Judge, Add & Subtract, Try and Try Again, Experience Outdoors, Notice Weather, Invent, Build, Observe Cause & Effect, Multiply & Divide, Count for a Purpose, Wonder


Literacy Skills

Students: Tell Stories, Listen to Stories, Share Ideas, Debate, Sequence Events, Describe, Give Clear Messages, Persuade Others, Invent Games, Defend Ideas, Embody Characters, Act Out Plays, Distinguish Real from Make Believe and Fact from Opinion, Sing Songs, Practice Rhythm