At Waldorf School of the Peninsula, the world is our classroom and school field trips are a core part of our education.
Beginning in second grade, classes go on multi-day curricular trips. The locations of these trips vary from year-to-year but follow general themes; the descriptions below are from recent years.
All classes also engage in local curricular trips throughout the year that correspond to the current topic of study.
Starting in nursery and kindergarten, children engage with the natural world every day. Field trips for the younger children correspond with the seasons and focus on experiencing nature, such as picking apples, visiting a local goat farm, playing at the neighborhood park and enjoying a picnic at the beach.
In the early grades, trips include a second grade overnight visit to Hidden Villa, a working farm and nature education center, a third grade 3-4 day working stint at a biodynamic farm in Covelo, a fourth grade living history adventure for the California history block, a fifth grade botany hike and overnight stay at Hidden Villa and a week-long outdoor education experience in Northern California.
Organized yearly trips for the sixth through eighth grades promote teamwork and deeper self-knowledge through progressively more challenging adventures in nature. Middle school trips continue outdoor education and expand students’ skills and sense of community with a ropes course in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and to Mt. Shasta. The eighth grade trip is a capstone, where students and teachers celebrate their journey together through the grades. Recent eighth grade trips include a rafting trip in Colorado and a canoeing trip off the coast of Maine.
The year kicks off with an all-school multi-day retreat that includes nature immersion, a reading symposium and junior-senior leadership training. Class specific trips include a ninth grade Geology trip to the Pinnacles and a History trip to New England; a tenth grade cultural immersion and social justice trip to New Mexico that includes community service-learning; an eleventh grade wilderness trip, which includes a solo overnight experience as part of a study of Parzival; and the end-of-the-journey senior trip.
“The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”
Founder of Children in Nature Network and author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit and The Nature Principle