Portfolio's Four Learning Pillars

1.
Students engage as learners and creators
through interdisciplinary, collaborative project based learning incorporating the humanities and the sciences, literacy and math, technology and the arts.

2.
Students advance at their own pace
in literacy and math utilizing high quality research-based curricula in alignment with internationally recognized standards.

3.
Students delve deeply
into experiences that develop self-reflection, empathy, and social emotional skills.

4.
Students serve as co-designers
of learning experiences with their teachers in an environment that honors inquiry, creative problem solving, and students’ interests.


Curriculum

Reading, writing and communication skills form a core part of the projects and we make sure any gaps are addressed individually outside the project activities

Reading, writing and communication skills form a core part of the projects and we make sure any gaps are addressed individually outside the project activities

Literacy

At Portfolio, students develop the skills they need to become superb readers and writers, speakers and listeners. Drawing from proven balanced literacy approaches and based on research and practices outlined by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell, as well as Lucy Calkins, students develop a wide range of literacy skills. These include reading comprehension, writing, phonics, vocabulary, handwriting, and typing. Students have opportunities to work with teachers, individually, and in teams, sometimes organized by academic level and sometimes by interest.


Our students get ample opportunity to learn core skills at their own pace. At times ahead of their grade level.

Our students get ample opportunity to learn core skills at their own pace. At times ahead of their grade level.

Math

We use the Primary Mathematics Program, written by the Ministry of Education in Singapore and aligned with international standards adopted in countries achieving at the highest levels in math. With an emphasis on developing number sense, strong conceptual understanding, and facility with critical thinking and effective problem-solving, our program supports the mastery of math facts and core skills needed for success in higher level math. Math is learned both as its own discipline and integrated in interdisciplinary, collaborative projects. Within projects, we extend learning to include statistics and probability, which are vital to understanding the sciences and the humanities


During our "Learning is Delicious" unit, where students made ice cream machines, they learnt about the history of ice and its impact on the industrial age. Fredrick Tudor time travelled to talk to the students about his early efforts in commercializing ice 

During our "Learning is Delicious" unit, where students made ice cream machines, they learnt about the history of ice and its impact on the industrial age. Fredrick Tudor time travelled to talk to the students about his early efforts in commercializing ice 

humanities and social Sciences

Central to interdisciplinary, collaborative, project based learning at Portfolio, the humanities and social sciences include literature, history, biography, geography, political science, economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy. Through age-appropriate exploration that is aligned with the National Social Studies Standards, Portfolio students delve into the humanities and social sciences by asking questions and engaging in design challenges, participating actively in the ongoing human quest to learn, reflect, create and contribute.


Science is a very hands on endeavor at Portfolio.

Science is a very hands on endeavor at Portfolio.

SCience

Integral to understanding our world, physical science, life science, earth and space science, and engineering design, are core to interdisciplinary project based learning at Portfolio. Through immersion in the internationally benchmarked Next Generation Science Standards, Portfolio students gain understanding of core scientific ideas as well as skill in observation, experimentation, and inquiry. Exploring questions and design challenges pursued by scientists and engineers throughout history and today, Portfolio students apply scientific and engineering thinking and practice, asking their own questions, seeking their own answers, and identifying their own design challenges connected to societal and personal interests and incorporating both scientific and technological understanding


Students used a laser cutter and CAD tools to design and build a model house and used different forms of color to kick off our "Colors" unit

Students used a laser cutter and CAD tools to design and build a model house and used different forms of color to kick off our "Colors" unit

technology and the arts

Distinguished by a fabrication laboratory open all day for students to access as needed, and equipped with tools like 3D printers, laser cutter and CNC router and resources regularly used by engineers and artists such as electronics and robotics, wood and paint, crayons and clay, Portfolio students interact with technology, computer science and the arts, not as consumers, but as creators, regularly engaged both in self-expression and creative problem solving. Our interdisciplinary, collaborative project based learning engages students as teams in creating meaningful works of art and engineering, and solving meaningful problems of societal and personal relevance. They also have numerous opportunities to work with artists-in-residence and to meet with experts in a wide range of fields.


Projects offer a great way to self reflect, develop empathy for others and build communication, collaboration and other leadership skills

Projects offer a great way to self reflect, develop empathy for others and build communication, collaboration and other leadership skills

Social, emotional learning

At the very heart of learning at Portfolio lies the quest to better understand oneself and others as learners, creators, and people. Self-reflection along with skills to develop empathy for others are embedded within our twice daily community meetings, as well as within the team and individual explorations and design challenges integral to our projects. Portfolio students not only develop academic and creative skills, but use those skills in solving relevant problems and design challenges aimed at making a positive impact for our school, the broader society, and our environment.


Students enjoy gymnastics 3 times a week at Little Gym during the winter months.

Students enjoy gymnastics 3 times a week at Little Gym during the winter months.

Students spend time outside every day at a nearby park or playground.

Students spend time outside every day at a nearby park or playground.

physical education

Students participate in physical education several times a week in a local park whenever weather permits and indoor on days of inclement weather. The aim of our physical education is wellness, fitness, and the development of a commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Students will participate in a range of athletic activities largely based on their interests.