“Hayground is a very special place. It fosters curiosity, creativity, and imagination, and facts are never offered in a vacuum. Instead teachers inspire their students to make meaning of what they see and challenge them to attain a deep understanding of important principles and ideas.” Edward B. Burger, PH.D. Professor of Mathematics, Williams College

The Hayground Model

Hayground offers an innovative educational experience for children ages 3 to 13. Inspired by the ideas of John Dewey, Hayground’s educational philosophy maintains that children learn best through meaningful inquiry, hands-on experiences, and as active participants in their own learning. 

Hayground supports this philosophy through three key practices:

  •  Mixed-Age Groups: Combining younger and older students, the Hayground classroom is a community endeavor, where each child is treated as an individual, and is expected to participate as both student and mentor.  
  • Individualized Learning: Hayground students are seen as individual learners with unique interests, strengths, and challenges.  Teachers and mentors work closely with students to set individual learning goals and discover each child’s personal connection to the material being explored.    
  • Mentor/Apprenticeship Model: Hayground students experience mentorship on a daily basis via their teachers, peer mentors, community experts, and visiting artists.  As they absorb the skills of sharing knowledge and experience, they are expected to become mentors themselves, to their classmates, their families and their surrounding community.

Learning in Action

Hayground’s curriculum emphasizes in-depth studies, active inquiry, and project-based learning. The curriculum is composed of three foundations: Core Disciplines; Authentic Endeavors; and Artists-in-Residence.

  • Core Disciplines: Literacy, Math, Science, and History, taught through real-world applications and long-term projects supported by peers, teachers, and professional mentors.
  • Authentic Endeavors: Gardening, Culinary Arts, Filmmaking, Studio Art, Inventor's Workshop, Bookmaking, and Professional Apprenticeships. 
  • Artists-In-Residence: Immersion workshops with working artists in theater, creative writing, storytelling, music history, and music composition.