Beginning in Upper Prep, students are expected to speak regularly in class. In our small classes, all students in every class present ideas, share opinions, defend positions and ask questions. More reticent students are given guidance and encouragement as they learn to take risks in this supportive environment. Required course work in dramatics and public speaking provides a foundation of skills that are then applied in all sectors of life at school. A few examples are: student-led Harkness discussions, presentations of projects in foreign language classes, announcements and speeches at school assemblies, dramatic performances, formal debates in history and English classes, poetry readings and Mock Trial.
Students write in every course, across the curriculum. Lab reports in science, reflections on underlying concepts and overarching themes in mathematics, creative and expository writing (as well as poetry) in English, three- to five-paragraph essays and longer research papers in history, stories and translations in foreign languages, and written art critiques are just a few examples. Much coaching of writing occurs in the classroom, where the longer periods allow time for editing and revising with either teacher or peer support. Students then edit and revise independently, as they learn to apply rules of grammar, descriptive vocabulary, specific formats, etc.
In all grade levels at the Middle School, students take courses in the visual representation of ideas. The visual arts curriculum trains students to express their ideas through the use of a variety of mediums from clay to paint to plaster of Paris, and courses range from printmaking to ceramics to painting and drawing. The media arts and technology curricula begin with Writing Technology in Upper Prep (where students learn to create and then deliver effective PowerPoint presentations) and lead to a variety of courses that explore communication through computer applications, as well as photography and video.
170 Kingswood Road West Hartford, CT 06119-1430 (860) 233-9631| KO is an independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in grades 6-12.