How Field Trips Enhance Our Educational Experience
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One of the most treasured traditions at The Oaks Academy are our field trips. All are rooted in our curriculum and offer students the opportunity to gain hands-on education in a variety of locations. From parks and museums to monasteries and monuments, historical sites to untouched nature preserves, students travel across the state and even all the way to Washington D.C. to expand their horizons and see their textbooks come to life.
This dual learning atmosphere offered at The Oaks through in-class and field trip lessons are incorporated at every grade level, from our Pre-Kindergarten students learning about animals from a naturalist at Holliday Park to our 8th grade class taking the annual trek to Washington D.C. each fall.
Nature Lessons with Pre-Kindergarten
Students in our Pre-Kindergarten program take many field trips throughout the year as they begin their educational journey at The Oaks. In addition to learning their letters and sounds, numbers and patterns, or stories and bible verses, students in Pre-K are introduced to nature and scientific concepts such as the weather and seasons, observation and curiosity, and all sorts of different animals. Pre-Kindergarten classes will take multiple trips throughout the year to local parks like Holliday Park and Eagle Creek Park to get a lesson and guided nature walk from a park guide and see the birds at the Ornithology Center.
Bringing History to Life with 8th Grade
This capstone field trip for 8th grade students is a week-long visit to the District of Columbia and the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania. The goal of this trip focuses on tying together the important threads of U.S. history, especially the saga of our nation’s founding, the struggle for civil rights and the Civil War. While this is a common trip for many other middle schools to take, The Oaks makes it unique with added times of reflection, night walks and experiences such as watching the sun set on Little Round Top and exploring a variety of cultures through restaurants serving authentic worldly cuisines.
The field trip program adapts to fit each grade – in more ways than one. While all of our field trips align with our curriculum to provide hands-on learning from classroom concepts, these experiences gradually evolve from short trips and day-long adventures to overnight, immersive experiences. These alternative classrooms also exercise students’ maturity; as field trips grow from relatively relaxed to practically formal with high expectations, students are expected to apply the habits they have been practicing, at school, towards their conduct on each trip.
So, while some schools may use field trips as a reward or special event for students, at The Oaks Academy we understand that field trips offer our students so much more with opportunities to explore, grow and develop a lifelong love of learning.