The degree to which our special programs are fully integrated into the curriculum is a unique feature of Bay Farm. Each child experiences art, music, Spanish, library, agriculture, and shop—at a developmentally appropriate level—with specialists who offer students avenues of expression and technical skills that go beyond what is possible in the traditional classroom.
Students become familiar and comfortable working with a variety of materials (pencil, crayon, paints, clay, wood, cardboard) in various techniques (two- and three-dimensional). There is an increase in eye-hand coordination. Art provides a means of enjoying the creativity of others as well as their own. They develop an understanding of the life of other cultures, and of their own, as seen through art.
Bay Farm’s innovative agriculture program puts our students in direct contact with the plant and animal kingdom. By living next to the life cycle, our students have the unique opportunity to learn in authentic, hands-on, significant ways. From planting seeds as a toddler to learning about the resources of farming and agriculture, to creating a micro-economy as middle schoolers, our students are able to intersect with nature at their developmental levels. They are actively engaged in all aspects of the program from caring for goats, composting, planting fruits and harvesting vegetables, tending our orchard, budgeting for expenses, and more.
Bay Farm’s music program draws upon elements of creativity, composition, singing, instrument-learning, movement, and performance to help students understand themselves and the world around them. An interdisciplinary approach to learning ties together topics students learn in the classroom with their cultural significance through music and movement. As students progress from toddlers to elementary-aged learners, they move through an organic process of learning music that begins with tapping into students’ innate musical ability and culminates in their becoming confident singers, instrumentalists, musical thinkers, composers, and performers.
The library at Bay Farm is a warm and welcoming place where adults and children of all ages are able to find quality literature, learn library skills, and pursue research. Through an excellent collection of books and other resources which support our curriculum, Bay Farm’s library users further develop their interests and invigorate their minds and spirits. We strive to expand a child’s interest in literature and resource materials and promote independent learning and enrichment through story hours, small group instruction, and lessons on library skills. The love of books and reading is modeled and encouraged by all on campus. Students attend the library every week as part of their specialist schedule.
Bay Farm values the importance of foreign language instruction. Our students are taught Spanish, beginning with brief introductory lessons in Children’s House and culminating in a thorough, multi-faceted curriculum in Middle School. French is offered to our 5th-year students and above. Learning a foreign language is an enjoyable experience for our children. Both spoken and written French and Spanish are introduced and reinforced by a curriculum that is filled with a variety of pleasurable activities and meaningful work.
Students, K-8, attend the Shop every week as part of their specialist schedule. The Shop is a place to put ideas into practice. From learning about basic tool safety to creating robots, measuring wind to creating inventions, the Shop is where our students can get hands-on with the curriculum and material they are learning about in the classroom.