There are several key factors that have contributed to our success over two decades, and one of the most critical is having exceptional teachers in place. Our faculty is dedicated to our students and through their experience and within our small class sizes, they are able to provide individualized instruction to help each student. This environment enables students to work to their full potential, develop their love of learning and ultimately be successful.
Another key factor in our successful academic environment is our dedication to educating the whole child. It is our goal for our students to be well-rounded and be exposed to as many subjects as possible to help them develop all aspects of their interests and capabilities. Through an excellent curriculum, a broad offering of enrichment classes and an exceptional Fine Arts program, students are able to engage their minds and talents in all aspects.
The foundation of the curriculum follows the E.D. Hirsch Core Knowledge Curriculum. Core Knowledge is a project-based, integrated curriculum, which enables students to create connections from one subject to another. For instance in 1st grade, the students may learn about Modern Day and Ancient Mexico. This subject is clearly covered in History and Geography but is also woven into Science studying the Geographical Features of the Earth’s Surface, linking back to Maya, Inca and Aztec Civilizations. It is then covered in Language Arts, with Hispanic Folktale, and in Music, teaching the students traditional Mexican songs and in Art, creating pieces of Mayan and Inca art.* (Source: E.D. Hirsch Core Knowledge Foundation)
In addition, we follow Singapore Math, which focuses on students not just learning, but also mastering certain math concepts each year. This approach removes the practice of drills and places a greater emphasis on helping students understand the concept on a deeper level, not just memorization.
We also include STEAM as a component of the curriculum. Standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics, STEAM is the integrated approach to learning that allows and encourages students to think about real-world problems. The benefit of STEAM versus STEM is that "STEAM is a way to take the benefits of STEM and complete the package by integrating these principles in and through the arts. STEAM take STEM to the next level: it allows students to connect their learning in these critical areas together with arts practices, elements, design principles, and standards to provide the whole pallet of learning at their disposal. STEAM removes limitations and replaces them with wonder, critique, inquiry, and innovation." educationcloset.com
Students also receive Christian education which is included as part of the core curriculum as well as attending Chapel on Monday and Friday mornings.
Throughout all the classes, many concepts are taught through project-based learning. This philosophy is an excellent way for students to apply concepts that are being taught, work in teams, problem solve, troubleshoot, and draw conclusions. Project-based learning also allows for a more engaged learning environment, where students can bring together concepts from all of their subjects and disciplines, helping students make connections that will stay with them.
Buckner Fanning School at Mission Springs is a fully accredited school through AdvancED.