The K-8 years are critically important to a child’s academic and social development. At VCS, we devote all our resources to helping students establish an unabashed love of learning and the resilient self-confidence that will serve them well for a lifetime.
Students thrive when they feel safe to be daring and creative with their learning, never worrying about the opinions of high schoolers. In our K-8 setting, students expect to be supported and supportive of their peers. They value respect, kindness, inclusivity, empathy and mutual responsibility. VCS students are free to be their age-appropriate selves, retaining their spontaneity and unselfconscious excitement about learning.
At VCS, we take our students seriously, especially as they reach adolescence. Some K-12 schools do not prioritize Grades 6-8 as strongholds of intellectual inquiry and growth. We do. We know how sophisticated young minds can be when offered opportunities to tackle the big questions and stretch beyond typical expectations.
Observers of VCS Upper School classrooms often note how the level of discourse is similar to that of a university seminar – rich in debating different points of view, collaborating to solve problems and pursuing new ideas sparked by our students’ well-honed intellectual curiosity.
Our K-8 structure also provides many opportunities for students to be leaders. Students in Grades 4 and 5 are the Lower School’s leaders and serve as mentors to younger children. These responsibilities grow as students advance through Upper School. Our 7th and 8th Graders are empowered, enthusiastic role models for the entire student body. They best demonstrate what it means to value and encourage each other, developing rewarding relationships across age groups based on trust and mutual reliance.
The advantage of K-8 becomes doubly clear as our students depart for high school. VCS graduates have ownership of their intellectual growth. They know how they learn best and love to challenge themselves – their own accomplishments being the focus of their competitive fire.
VCS students graduate feeling self-assured and ready for high school. They look forward to this new chapter in their education, having carefully chosen it in alignment with their talents and ambitions as young people, not according to who they were as kindergarteners. Prepared, optimistic and poised, VCS graduates go on to excel in highly competitive high schools, universities and professions.