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Our Program

The Chestnut Hill School has teachers who engage students in every aspect of their development while inspiring them to reach for the highest possible academic standards. Often this involves coordinated cross-disciplinary study, and it always results in meaningful exploration of self and others. Here at CHS our goal is to develop skills both academic and non-academic, to encourage individuality, to spur creativity, and to cultivate leadership.

Dynamic classrooms are filled with children of diverse cultures and backgrounds. In the younger years and under the care of expert teachers, children yearn to improve their social understandings and to broaden their intellectual horizons. Our distinctive approach provides opportunities for self-awareness, self-discipline, and self-respect. We actively encourage the refinement of empathy.

 

Upper School Leadership


A formal emphasis on developing leadership skills is a hallmark of our Upper School. Beginning in Grade Four, students serve as Learning Partners to the Beginners class, mentoring the younger students and building relationships that are often sustained through graduation and beyond. Led by the Head of School—itself a reflection of the school’s commitment to leadership education—the Grade Five Leadership Program reinforces the importance of active listening, communicating, empathizing, negotiating with others, and making responsible choices. Whether in learning about virtue or in confronting the real world challenges inherent in early adolescence, students learn to recognize and articulate leadership qualities in themselves and others. The class culminates in a special capstone experience, marking students’ passage to becoming sixth grade leaders in the CHS community.

 

Concerts and Assemblies


Every grade level performs in front of the whole School at a Friday morning assembly. With the exception of the Sixth Graders, who perform in a full-scale musical theater production, and the youngest children, who perform from scripts, most of our students are involved both in writing and choreographing their own performances. In addition, all students participate in seasonal concerts involving vocal as well as instrumental preparation. In these and other venues, such as grade-level curriculum sharings and classroom celebrations, CHS students develop poise and confidence as performers and public speakers. Our students also benefit both from assemblies which showcase the talents and perspectives of visiting artists, authors, and performers and from opportunities to gather regularly by division for cross-grade community building.

 

STEAM


The CHS program engages students in high-level problem solving and celebrates the powerful intersection of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM). While integrated STEAM projects and activities are continually evolving and weave throughout many subjects and disciplines, a flagship of STEAM curriculum at CHS is the innovative Building and Engineering program. A unique curriculum including but not limited to woodworking, robotics, and simple machines, this class engages students in the design and engineering process at different developmental levels. Often drawing upon cross-curricular connections with other units of study, students program robots, collaborate with partners, analyze and adjust code, design real-time solutions to challenges, and build tangible products with increasing complexity and independence.

 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

In addition to a highly multicultural curriculum which both exposes students to a broad range of historical and cultural experiences and emphasizes the importance of multiple perspectives, our program includes a thoughtful and intentional focus on social identity, social bias, and social justice. In developmentally appropriate ways from the earliest age, students are engaged in activities, conversation, and reflection on concepts such as same and different, bias, stereotypes, prejudice, personal responsibility, and social action. Integral to supporting the growth of the whole child and to nurturing their social/emotional development, we believe that equipping students with the skills to understand themselves and others and to develop the capacity for empathy is of the utmost importance.