CULTURE OF CHALLENGE
Since its founding in 1961, Forsyth has always been an environment for creative learning. That remains true still today. Forsyth is all about challenge—but always with support from teachers and classmates. Forsyth’s curriculum is founded on very positive beliefs in children’s capacity for learning. It is a curriculum that is multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and structured as a continuum across grade levels. The challenging and engaging curriculum fosters independence, critical thinking, and personal responsibility, and prepares students to thrive in secondary school and beyond.
Forsyth is a place where personal best counts—in the classroom, on the field, on the stage, and on the high ropes course in the Adventure Center. Students are encouraged to stretch beyond their comfort zones with memory mapping, ballroom dancing, arthropod studies, Shakespeare performances, and more. Our curriculum is challenging, but Forsyth students also learn to challenge themselves, to set stretch goals, and to reflect on their accomplishments. Here, children learn that if they work hard, they can accomplish just about anything!
Our teachers value active learning and authentic experiences. The Forsyth faculty is a very special group of committed and creative individuals who are charged with making the curriculum come alive in the classroom. Our curriculum is written by faculty committees in each of the various subject areas, comprised of teachers across all grade levels, to maintain curricular continuity and appropriate growth from grade to grade. Through this process, Forsyth’s curriculum is continually evaluated and improved.
Senior-Kindergarten and Grades 1–6 experience “Challenge Days” in the Forsyth Adventure Center featuring indoor and outdoor team-building activities, including the climbing wall and high ropes course. But this is not the only form of authentic challenge at Forsyth School. All students participate in the annual May Day festivities; Junior-Kindergarten and up perform songs on stage during Grand Friends Day; Senior-Kindergarten and Grades 1–3 present all-school assemblies; and Grades 4–6 perform large-scale plays complete with costumes, lighting, and sound. The upper school grades also prepare and present “living museum” exhibits that bring curricular studies to life. These are just a few examples of the many ways Forsyth balances basic knowledge and skills with meaningful and engaging application.
Perhaps the best example of Forsyth’s “culture of challenge” is memory mapping. In Grade 4, students map the United States entirely from memory. Next, they map Central and South Americas from memory in Grade 5. Finally, they map the entire world from memory in Grade 6. Each world map is individualized based on the student’s interests and goals. Our students gain the skills necessary to manage large-scale, multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary projects well and are motivated to set greater, “above-and-beyond” challenges for themselves.
Forsyth students graduate as young people who know how to tackle challenges both independently and collaboratively. They are tenacious, thoughtful, responsible, creative, articulate, kind, and compassionate. They leave with the academic foundation, confidence, and growth mindset to succeed at the most selective secondary schools. Our graduates consistently report back that the organizational skills they learned at Forsyth gave them a significant, competitive advantage.