CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION
According to Fortune magazine, “Creativity is rapidly shifting from a “nice to have” to a “must have” quality for all types of successful organizations – from delicatessens to design firms.” Inspiring children to tap into their creativity in solving problems and in expressing their unique selves is a critical part of the work we do at NHSP.
Preparation for Now and the Future
To prepare our students to “succeed in a diverse and ever-changing world,” the school fosters the growth and development of the 21st century skills of creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. This ever-changing world will likely offer professions that do not yet exist today. Preparing students for a future with such unknowns can be difficult. However, there is no debate that a rigorous academic program that lays a strong foundation, at minimum, in reading, writing, speaking, problem solving, and mathematics will serve students well now and into their future.
Design thinking is a process for creative problem-solving that crosses the curriculum. While it is often used in engineering lessons, it is also integrated into various subjects as a way to approach problems and seek solutions. Giving students the opportunity to work together or individually to explore and discover new ways to create and innovate is critical to advancing their learning from being solely content-based to being constructive.
The school places a focus on STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
Science: The newly adopted Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in grades K-5 focus on critical thinking, experiential learning, engineering concepts, and design thinking. The intensive single-subject McGraw Hills science series used in grades 6-8, which are based on the National Science Standards while utilizing components of NGSS, lay the foundation for successful learning into rigorous high school science programs.
Technology: Technology is integral to the learning and integrated into all subjects. It is considered an important tool for conducting research, creating presentations, writing, programming, and more. All classrooms are equipped with interactive smartboard and iPads, Chromebooks or laptops.
Engineering: Engineering projects generate excitement within the classroom from preschool through eighth grade from projects like building a nest to designing and building a mosque to learning the laws of motion in designing and building an eco-vehicle and much more. Teachers find creative ways to bring engineering into the program to activate the creative and critical thinking processes and to practice design thinking. LEGO kits are also provided at each grade level from Grade 1 to 8 to stimulate further exploration of engineering concepts.
Mathematics: The school fosters a strong foundation in mathematics with an emphasis on problem-solving skills. In grades K-5, students learn these skills through the Singapore Math program. In grades 6-8, this approach continues in the McGraw Hill program offering additional topics and practice needed for the preparation for rigorous high school programs.