Lipscomb Academy launches SEED School with new approach to early childhood education

By Kim Chaudoin on 12/17/2012

   
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Lipscomb Academy recently launched the SEED School as it refocuses its approach to pre-K and kindergarten education.

SEED School picThe SEED School at Lipscomb Academy is an innovative approach to pre-K and kindergarten education that offers a unique learning environment where children are encouraged to be inquisitive, adventurous and creative. SEED stands for: seek, explore, experiment, discover. The approach is based on the concept that these early education years can be much more impactful on a child’s success than merely a time to prepare for elementary school grades.

“The first few years of learning set the stage for the many years of learning to come,” said Jonathan Sheahen, Lipscomb Academy elementary principal. “At Lipscomb Academy, we believe these early years contribute to children’s development of many essential skills that support social competence and creative problem solving, as well as foster a love of learning that endures for a lifetime.”

Sheahen said the SEED School is an environment for pre-K and kindergarten students to be able to “seek, explore, experience and discover the world around them in a Christian context and in ways that encourage and embrace knowledge as well as individuality.”

“We expect children to think critically and act responsibly. In doing so, we offer them the room they need to thrive in unique and challenging situations. Our students will grow in ways that will make a world of difference as they move into first grade and beyond,” said Sheahen. “We transform children’s curiosity into a passion for learning. Our teachers implement research-based curriculum where questions lead to hands-on learning experiences.”

Sheahen said this new focus builds on Lipscomb’s long history of successful primary education that spans nearly 100 years. Core components of this approach are:

  • a university connection — learning partnerships with Lipscomb University that include an organic kinder“garden” built by a Lipscomb Dining Services-Sodexho chef, biology and chemistry student learning labs; and College of Education-led trainings and research among other programs;
  • experiential learning — through field trips, learning gardens, thematic celebrations, technology tools (including iPads®, interactive whiteboards and document cameras in classrooms), hands-on science labs, Orff musical instrument instruction and other opportunities; and
  • an inquiry-based approach — curricular studies influenced by student questions and interests and an environment that fosters problem solving, critical thinking, creative reasoning and contextual learning.

Sheahen said the Christian focus of Lipscomb Academy is an integral component of the SEED School through integrated Bible curriculum, weekly chapel services, an on-campus director of spiritual formation and hands-on service learning projects.

“Our faith and belief in God is an important part of our school and the way we teach,” said Sheahen. “As students get older they are guided to develop their own faith and relationship with God. We feel the strength of a plant lies in its roots, as does the strength of a child. The spiritual and character formation of children is central to our school’s daily practices and mission.”

Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2013. For more information, contact Jennifer Green at 615.966.6230 or jennifer.green@lipscomb.edu.