Powhatan School was once again recognized as the 2021 Best Private School in the region in the annual Best of Winchester Awards. Winners were announced in a Special Edition of The Winchester Star in the summer.
Powhatan School was also recognized by Virginia Living Magazine as a Top K-8 Private School in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The innovative Virtual Reality (VR) experiences on campus were highlighted in a piece highlighting unique learning experiences at schools across the state.
Academic Excellence in the Time of COVID
Here at Powhatan we believe education should inspire passion, curiosity, and creativity.
We believe learning should be active, authentic, immersive, and purposeful. We do this through interdisciplinary thinking, technical acuity, collaboration, and inquiry-based learning.
We are guided by our mission and the five pillars:
Excellence Civility Integrity Respect Service
An Exceptional Educational Experience:
We view Academic Excellence through the lens of engaging, unique and challenging classroom experiences. Throughout COVID we have maintained the levels of academic excellence by adapting to the changes around us. A few examples include:
Children learn by doing. Small classes provide the framework for engaging hands-on learning experiences across all grade levels. The Makerspace and iTech labs are the perfect settings for problem-solving and critical thinking. These spaces provide opportunities for students to sharpen soft-skills, including plenty of collaboration and communication. COVID may have made activities more challenging, but our faculty continued to find ways to keep learning engaging and fun.
NEAL: Nature Enhanced Approach to Learning
We have long used an approach called Nature Enhanced Approach to Learning (NEAL). NEAL is a lens through which we can teach any or all components of our curriculum. We use it to bring our students outside into the natural world and to bring the natural world indoors to our students. By utilizing our natural resources across campus, faculty are able to create robust outdoor learning experiences at all grade levels. The ability to take classes outside was a significant way we could maintain health and safety throughout the past year.
The Crocker Conservancy is an outdoor laboratory for hands-on experiential learning for students of all ages and home to the NEAL program. The Crocker Conservancy now spans 74-acres on the back of our campus. There are three main habitats on the Crocker Conservancy, including a wetland habitat, warm season grass and wild flower meadow and hardwood forests.
The challenges faced by COVID made schools across the country rethink every aspect of delivering a high quality education. Technology played a huge role in our ability to adapt in real time to the changing landscape of COVID guidelines and protocols. Something as crucial to our experience as Chapel Talks remained a way for students to shine. This capstone activity builds confidence in students, but also highlights the innovative solutions our faculty came up with to maintain such an important tradition.
Our approach of educating the whole child includes character development, social and emotional growth and an inclusion of plenty of extras. Art, music, drama, outdoor education, world language and other ‘specials’ here at Powhatan continue to engage children while providing a well-rounded education. We do all of this in a nurturing, yet challenging, small PK-8 school environment that gets children excited about learning!