What is unique about
Woodson Branch Nature School?
WBNS is Project-Based Learning at it's best! We take full advantage of the incredible outdoor environment that is our campus, the knowledge and creativity of our teaching staff, and the dedication of our families in this endeavor.
Authentic Learning Experiences!
With a strong character building, real-life skills and service focus > Agriculture, Art, and Outdoor Education are part of the core curriculum at WBNS, and the lens through which we teach all subjects.
Farm > We take care of farm animals to help grow our own food, and we grow food for our neighbors in need
Art > Our rich curriculum is designed and delivered by local artists that include traditional hand-crafts, 2 and 3 dimensional design, and traditional topics that promote the spirit of innovation and creativity
Forest > We learn and follow the principles of earth stewardship through Leave No Trace. Our students experience hiking, camping, climbing, and boating in 6th-8th grades
Our students are Physically Engaged
From hands-on lessons and project work, to walks through the woods between classes, to at least 1 hours of unstructured forest time everyday, visits to the Adventure Playground, to weekly Physical Education time, to field trips, to gardening, to animal care, to scientific inquiry in the creeks and on the trails >> our kids are on the move!
*Comprehensive research proves that regular participation in physical activity and higher levels of physical fitness have been linked to improved academic performance and brain functions, such as attention and memory. These brain functions are the foundation for learning.
Our students are challenged academically
We provide a developmentally appropriate, well-rounded, robust curriculum in Writing, Reading, Math, and Science. *See specific program curriculum references.
Our Agriculture, Art, and Outdoor Education programs are our own unique design, professionally constructed and lead by experts in their fields of study: our Specials Program teachers!
*With these practices in place, WE are on our way to STEAM certification as a school >>>
With our small class sizes (1:12 student:teacher ratio) we are able to give focused attention to your child and help them achieve their goals. We provide extensive support in getting them prepared for their next school experience after WBNS.
Fair, Accurate Assessments
We assess our students individually in a variety of ways (by what they write, say, design, build, etc.) in order to most accurately provide the support that they need to move forward in all subjects.
What is unique ... specifically about our Middle School Program at WBNS?
Financial Management System
Students establish character and practice responsibility by managing themselves through doing daily chores and earning “school dollars”.
*Students earn “school dollars” for special class participation and for chores well done / they lose money for poor choices.
Students choose how they spend their earnings > at the school store and/or end of the season “Buy, Sale, Trade Market” & Silent Auction
Extended social development opportunities
· Weekly Clubs (cooking, survival skills, crafts, yoga, ukulele, fishing, Beacon of Hope, detective, geo-cashing,
· Seasonal Extensions, with guest teachers (Conflict Resolution, Maturity Class, History)
· School Dances!
· Theater Program (fall plays and a spring musical, after-school)
· Fundraising Events! (Plants Sale, Pumpkin Sale, River Festival, Open House) *Yes, the students are involved in raising funds!
· Field Trips! (Dollywood, Arboretum, local trails and creeks, Science Center, Appalachian Trail, Trampoline Park, local farms, Warren Wilson College, Southern Highland Craft Guild, etc.)
Students leave their Legacy...
Each 8th grader is given the unique opportunity to design and build a year-long personal project that reflects their character and talents, to be visible on the WBNS Campus for years to come.