Opening the door for meaningful knowledge
The community at Riley is integrated and inclusive. It is not uncommon to find 5 year olds, 13 year olds and facilitators working side by side or in collaboration. That said, programmatic designations separate children into “Schools” in order to best meet intellectual and social maturities and needs at different developmental stages.
Movement between schools is fluid and determined by a child’s readiness but, in general, children in the Lower School range from 4 - 7 years old and children in the Middle and Upper School range from 7 to 15 years old.
For children from the ages of 4-7, an open-ended, active, creative educational setting is the necessary component to support them in developing more advanced thinking mechanisms. With a curriculum that is supported by challenging materials, books and cooperative activities and with facilitators who provide encouragement, foster responsible attitudes and allow ample time for questions and play, the Lower School provides a setting of constructivist learning.
The Lower School children have their own classroom but are well integrated in the community and move about the campus experiencing Art, Music, Spanish, Drama, and Pottery. In many areas of the program, Lower Schoolers work side by side with children in the Middle and Upper Schools. Children have a full hour of lunch and recess where all ages at Riley interact in unstructured, active play time.