Cross-Grade Learning

NPES’s small community lends itself to many opportunities for different grade levels and classes to work together and learn from each other. We believe these experiences are invaluable for enhancing academics and strengthening character development, and have built cross-grade learning activities into the curriculum throughout the school year.

At NPES, many grade levels participate in cross-grade learning through buddy program. For example, the reading buddy program pairs kindergarteners with 4th graders, and 1st graders with 3rd graders, for weekly reading time, helping not only improve fluency and reading skills, but building confidence, friendships and connections across grade levels. Other classes get together with a focus on writing, science, art, or math. Through our Advisory program, older children help out in younger grades with Shining Moment projects and many other activities. Advisory also opens up a broader social circle to our students by placing 6th, 7th and 8th graders in the same group.

Benefits of cross-grade learning:

  • Older students learn to mentor younger children and take on leadership roles
  • Younger children develop social skills from their older peers
  • Students begin to see children from other classes as part of a family of learners who support and care for each other
  • Provides positive opportunities for students to develop lasting relationships with other students and teachers
  • Increases understanding and respect across grade levels
  • Develops social skills such as active listening, sharing with others, decision-making, and reaching agreement

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