The House System & Character Ed
At Woodland School, we expect our graduates to make their school, and eventually the world, a better place.
Character development and values are an integral part of our teaching philosophy – we take our commitment to developing the good student and good person in each child very seriously. Character Education and Social-Emotional-Learning permeate every aspect of the school from the classroom to the playground and provide the common language used to solve day-to-day problems, teach sportsmanship and fair-play, and to set an expectation of inclusion and respect. We build character in and out of the classroom in the following deliberate and measured ways.
With faculty training at the prestigious Gardner Carney Leadership Institute, the Woodland School Leadership program takes an inside-out approach to establishing what leadership means in the context of our community. Students attend leadership seminars and work to define leadership. After breaking down the multitudinous ways to lead, we then work to find the leader in each student. We know that there are traditional and non-traditional leaders and try to find a niche for each student.
The leadership opportunities on campus range from student council, to our buddy mentor program, to challenging students to always be the best version of themselves. The program and the vocabulary surrounding it are meant to touch every child and challenge them to be a leader, whether that be as a mentor, as an example, by providing a service for the community, sharing their passion with the community, or offering their time and presence.
A long-time school tradition, Woodland uses the House System to foster camaraderie and teaches students throughout all grade levels to work together toward a common goal. Each student is assigned to one of four Houses — Oak, Pine, Maple, or Cypress — when they join the school. Students within each House enjoy activities, including Buddy Lunches, House Meetings and intramural House Cup Games. Each student is connected with others in their House through the cross-grade Buddy Program. For many of our students, the friendships formed across the grades through the Buddy Program is a favorite aspect of their Woodland experience. The House Program is a wonderful method of involvement that supports a healthy level of competition, while also teaching children how to embrace teamwork and collaboration.
Core Virtues Program
Woodland students are guided by the core virtues program which teaches values such as service, joy, gratitude, hope, generosity and perseverance. Two virtues are introduced every month for students to discuss, model and reflect upon. At the end of the month, an award is given to a student from each grade who exemplifies the core virtue.
Every year, the Houses take turns selecting philanthropic projects. The project is then introduced to the rest of the community so that everyone can participate. Often, an element of competition is added by offering a prize — often as simple as a day of “free dress”—to the House that collects the most donations or, if the project entails community service, the House that accumulates the most hours. This approach supports a dynamic team environment in which the students learn that their cooperation works to everyone’s benefit. The variety of organizations the school supports demonstrates their desire to teach children the importance of diversity and philanthropy on both a local and global scale. After school service learning clubs are also available for students to participate in.