Layers of growth
“I don’t mind being challenged. I want to be challenged. I mind being bored.”
Watkinson Tenth Grader
- A student says...
- A teacher says...
- An international student says...
- An alum says...
“The teacher-student relationship here isn’t an authority/subordinate relationship — it’s more of a partnership.”
Recent grad, now attending Bryn Mawr
“At Watkinson, we don’t have AP classes, because, in fact, we don’t think they’re rigorous enough.”
Director of Global Studies & Science Teacher
“This is a small school and every teacher knows me, so they trust me with my ability and really support my plan positively.”
Cindy Z. ’20
“By coming to Watkinson I was able to grow and not be nervous to try activities just because of my skin color.... I learned that I was able to go into architecture, I was more confident in my art. ”
Ryheem M. ’19
Now attending NYU
“In planning the 9th/10th grade Humanities courses, the Essential Question we started with was, ‘What is it about humanity that needs to tell stories? What is the importance of storytelling, and what is the impact of storytelling?’”
9th grade Seminar
A three-trimester course grounds students in the Upper School skills of project work, presentation, digital citizenship, and essay writing, with a particular focus on understanding and learning to enact Watkinson’s Essential Characteristics: commitment, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and self-advocacy.
Civil War Monologues
In tenth grade, students research, write, memorize and perform as someone (real or invented) from the Civil War Era. In order to capture the motives and struggles of such a character, it is imperative for students to understand the social, political, economic and cultural events that shaped the people of this period.
“I have no doubt that Watkinson is the only school where an idea as bold as this one would be encouraged and supported.”
“The conference clearly wanted someone to present who was a math professor, but, as a student used to being taken seriously at Watkinson, I sent back an email explaining who I was and that I would be happy to present.”
10th grade exhibitions
A year-long process in which students become collectors, evaluators, and exhibitors of their own 9th and 10th grade work in writing, applying the research method, problem-solving, and collaboration. Students receive one-on-one coaching throughout and present their findings to an audience for feedback and commendation.
Unlike other graduations, ours puts the student at the center by having no VIP speaker. Rather, we invite our students — as many as want to — to speak or perform. Last year, 20 graduating seniors took center stage to speak on topics as diverse as their own experiences, personalities, and future trajectories.