Field trips into our local community and beyond are an integral part of The Cushman School experience in each of our divisions. These real world explorations outside the classroom bolster our students’ critical thinking skills, letting them touch, feel and listen to what they’re learning about which helps them build upon classroom instruction and gain better understanding of key academic concepts. These excursions are not only great fun, they are beneficial to our students’ social, emotional and intellectual development.
These hands-on learning opportunities are introduced early, starting with our Primary and Elementary School students. Our Kindergarteners have enjoyed exploring Fairchild Tropical Gardens amidst the colorful collection of rare plants. In Elementary, our 4th graders have traveled to Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie Lock System to see this engineering feat first-hand and our 3rd graders go to the Bonnet House in Fort Lauderdale to understand more about some of our state’s historical landmarks.
These day trips prepare our Primary and Elementary students for the extended, overnight trips that begin in 5th grade and are an exciting part of the Cushman Middle and High School experience. Our 5th graders spend four days in Key Largo at Marine Lab learning about the unique ecosystems of the Florida Keys; our 6th graders enjoy a team-building week at Circle F Dude Ranch in Lake Wales; the 7th graders visit Washington D.C. to learn about our nation’s capital and the 8th graders venture to Costa Rica. Our High School students have an opportunity to travel internationally and/or domestically each year to embrace global cultures, diverse topography and world languages. This year, students are visiting Arizona, Utah and Puerto Rico, but destinations have included Iceland, Peru, Spain and Ireland to name a few.
Each travel agenda is created to complement our students’ academic curricula, and by thoughtful design, also encourage students to leave the comfort of campus to experience what books and computers do not convey. They learn by experiencing real life among the camaraderie of their friends and faculty. They develop confidence and independence away from home. These trips are extremely structured and highly secured to ensure the optimal safety and supervision of each student, but it only takes a look at the “Favorite Memories” section of our yearbook to validate how fun and meaningful these trips are to our students.
By leaving the classroom, Cushman students are able to see the connections between what is happening at school and in the ‘real-world’. They are able to understand that what they learn within the walls of the classroom can help them solve the problems they see in the world around them and this empowers them to develop into tomorrow’s Innovators of Change.