Growing the skills, ideas, talents, and capacities students will need to face the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century

At the heart of our program is the Whittle Global Curriculum, which curates and combines the best curricula from around the world.

For Early Learning, our curriculum is inspired by the Reggio Emilia model, from Italy, grounded in student autonomy and discovery of the world.

We highlight many aspects of the Chinese national curriculum to align with principles from best practices around the world, including Singapore and Exeter math and the National Research Council’s Next Generation Science Standards.

In Upper School, our model takes inspiration from the traditional American Independent School curriculum, bolstered by some of the best traditions from the British tutorial system: our selection of curricula is deeply informed by research in learning science and the best of the Chinese approach to education.

Our faculty has been encouraged to rethink and redeliver the future of education, combining the best of traditional practices with respect for local cultures.

A Whittle student will learn through three interconnected modes during their school day, week, and year. First, focused content strands, grounded in innovative, personalized techniques, will provide fundamental skills and content mastery. Second, interdisciplinary courses will reinforce those skills through project-based learning and connections across subject matter. Third, experiential learning will make skills and knowledge meaningful through research in, and application to, the world of the city.

This schematic schedule outlines a typical week for a Whittle School student.
A schematic Upper School schedule. Light-blue bands represent periods grounded in content mastery; dark-blue bands are interdisciplinary courses; green bands are our holistic programs; and orange represents experiential work.

Expedition Days

In our weekly schedule, experiential learning programs are offered on our Expedition Day. Curated by the faculty, this day is reserved for work that cannot be contained by the regular schedule or even within the walls of the school. Expedition Day alternates between an “inward” day, which focuses on personal growth and the school community, and an “outward” day, which sends students out into the city on fieldwork.

Mastery Bands

Our mastery-based learning approach establishes a set of skills, knowledge, behaviors, and dispositions that students master at their own pace and in their own way. The mastery bands are shorter in duration and are focused on the development of specific skills and knowledge to set students up to employ these skills in any relevant domain. These are supported by Acceleration periods, where students can work to move faster than the pace of their current grade level or receive additional support.

Interdisciplinary Blocks

Based on what we know about how students learn, our program mixes coverage of traditional disciplines with interdisciplinary teaching approaches and blends classroom study with fieldwork. Interdisciplinary courses are grounded in project-based work that combine areas of content knowledge to explore big questions and solve relevant problems.

Advisory and Holistic Learning

Individuals develop along multiple interconnected pathways: emotional, intellectual, physical, ethical, and social. We view students holistically and seek to foster their whole development, integrating social and emotional learning instruction and comprehensive health and wellness programs within our tailored curriculum. Mindfulness activities, robust arts instruction, enrichment, expeditionary learning, and rigorous scholarship are all part of our well-rounded education, both in and out of the classroom.