The Orchard School
The Orchard School celebrates “Nature As Teacher” and new international research shows countless benefits for children who attend schools that feature lots of green spaces and natural scenery.
“…where there was more green around the school, we saw better cognitive development,” said Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, a researcher with the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona and one of the study’s authors. [The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.]
The Orchard School has long realized the importance of extending learning beyond a building. Orchard’s 42.9 acres serve as an outdoor classroom. For example, first graders tap trees every winter and make maple syrup. Through hands-on learning, students make connections between botany, cooking, local food economics, history and biochemistry.
Teachers at The Orchard School are experts when it comes to engaging students and fostering a love of learning. Orchard’s rich history goes back more than 90 years, when nine Indianapolis women put into practice the philosophy of John Dewey. Dewey was rebuffing a system where kids were seen as empty vessels, ready to be filled by teachers who possessed all the knowledge. The nine women wanted children to be actively engaged in the learning process. Those insightful women founded The Orchard School in 1922.
A current Orchard parent says, “In a test-driven, memorization of facts society, Orchard is a breath of fresh air, promoting innovation, creativity and application of knowledge.”