The World is a Classroom

Field Trips

All classes in grades K-8 at WNS enjoy field trips to a variety of locations and for a variety of activities. Field trips enhance learning by exposing students to the community, giving them practical experiences, and enriching understanding of subjects taught in the classroom. At all grade levels, visitors and parent presenters are occasionally invited to the classroom to enhance and extend learning.

Middle school students participate in two to three retreats each year, one as an entire middle school and a second by grade level. WNS teacher chaperones work with companies specializing in outdoor education to plan and carry out the trips.

In the Early Childhood Center, students make use of our full site for field studies and invite visitors and parent presenters to the classroom to enhance and extend learning. The DK students make a few “walking trips” to the K-8 campus in the spring in anticipation of their moving up the following year.

Examples by grade

Kindergarten

  • Reptacular Animal Experience
  • Community Field Trip to the Fire Station
  • Hopkins Wilderness Park in Redondo Beach
  • Closing Circle in the Park

1st Grade

  • Natural History Museum
  • Downtown Community Study Field Trip
  • Closing Circle in the Park

2nd Grade

  • Ballona Wetlands
  • Eco Station
  • Cacao Study Rainforest
  • LMU Feed the Hungry Service Learning
  • Tree People Visit

3rd Grade

  • Chumash Village Native American Studies
  • The Gene Autry Museum
  • Torrance Courthouse for Civic Studies
  • Food Drive Delivery
  • The California Science Center

4th Grade

  • Channel Islands National Park Study
  • Bookends Service Learning
  • California Mission Visit
  • Playa Vista Library
  • The Broad
  • Kenneth Hahn State Park

5th Grade

  • Museum of Tolerance – Finding Our Families, Finding Ourselves Exhibit
  • Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant
  • UCLA Fowler Museum
  • Music Center’s Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival
  • AstroCamp (3-day trip)

6th Grade

  • Getty Villa
  • Tree People Eco-Tour
  • Olvera Street
  • Big Blue Bus Depot
  • El Capitan State Beach (3-day trip)

7th Grade

  • Shakespearience
  • Plaza de Cultura y Artes
  • Southern California Islamic Center
  • Sequoia Cross-Country Skiing (5-day trip)

8th Grade

  • Museum of Tolerance
  • Downtown LA District Arts District
  • Joshua Tree National Park (3-day trip)
  • Washington, DC (6-day trip)

Retreats and Outdoor Education

In the middle school, retreats and outdoor education are an integral part of our Advisory Plus program. At the end of the first full week of school, middle school teachers take all of the middle school students on a two-day overnight retreat in Simi Valley. The program on the first day of the retreat is run by WOLF (Wilderness Outdoor Leadership Foundation) and involves the students in a variety of teamwork and challenge activities. On the second day, middle school faculty plan leadership and teamwork activities and work with the students in groups to introduce and develop the year’s Advisory Plus curriculum.

In mid-October, the eighth graders and faculty go with WOLF to Joshua Tree National Park. They experience a three-day program featuring a combination of desert ecology, plant and wildlife studies, team building, bouldering, caving, and camping fun. WOLF provides tents to sleep in, tasty and complete meals from their full portable kitchen, and their best WOLF staff to facilitate it all.

In February, the seventh graders go to Montecito Lake Resort near Sequoia National Park for a five-day cross-country skiing adventure with faculty and Naturalists at Large. They learn about the ecology of the giant Sequoias and the geology of the Sierra Nevada Mountains while experiencing the beauty of this national park. The program includes discussion, physical challenge activities, and team-building. Students stay in lodge rooms.

In June, the eighth grade embarks on a cross-country trip to Washington, D.C., as a culmination of their years at WNS. Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the history they have been learning throughout their eighth grade year, experiencing American history up close and personal.

Global Studies

WNS has long been globally focused in our approach to education. We are constantly thinking of new ways to increase our global engagement, especially in regards to service learning. To that end, we offer a unique summer opportunity for WNS middle school students that includes a trip abroad filled with service learning, Spanish language immersion, and interdisciplinary opportunities.

The inaugural trip was in the summer of 2015 when our students traveled to Costa Rica. Subsequent trips have included the Dominican Republic and Peru, with Ecuador scheduled for summer 2019!

While abroad, students and chaperones are led by an expert team assembled by EF Tours, a world leader in educational student travel. After this seven to nine day life-changing trip, students spend two full days reflecting on their experiences, completing their research projects and presenting their findings.

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