Learning Beyond the Classroom

Developing a sense of responsibility, self-esteem, and independence of mind.

Students in the Maternelle and Lower School take part in local field trips and overnight outdoor education trips that complement and extend their learning in the classroom. They explore first-hand their relationship with nature and the environment, and find varied contexts to speak French in a natural way. These trips contribute to our students' growing independence, and prepares them for the international travel they will begin to embark on in Grade 5.

A traditional rite of passage for our Grade 5 students is their exchange trip to Strasbourg, France.

Students spend two weeks with a host family, while enjoying historical sites with their classmates during the day. This trip represents the culmination of their lower school bilingual education and prepares them for extensive global travel experiences waiting for them in the Middle School.

Below, you'll find a list of the core experiences that take place each year outside of the classroom:

  • Pre-K3 students take their first field trip to a pumpkin patch, where they learn about Halloween through a French language lens (other day trips have included a visit to the Exploratorium, Academy of Sciences, a nursing home, the Zoo, the Berkeley Children's Theater, and more);
  • Kindergartners take their first overnight trip for one night at Slide Ranch in Muir Beach to experience nature through activities; 
  • Grade 1 students participate in a hands-on, experiential program at a nature camp for four days at Happy Valley;
  • Grade 2 students discover a new environment during a four day trip to Camp Hamer near Santa Cruz;
  • Grade 3 students expand their knowledge of California History by spending four days in nature studying Native American cultures at Monte Toyon;
  • Grade 4 students spend four days in the gold country at Coloma Outdoor Discovery Camp;
  • Grade 5 students culminate their lower school bilingual education with a two-week exchange trip to Strasbourg, France.