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Hallmarks of a Shore Education

Authentic Voice

From the very start of their Shore education, students are encouraged to embrace creative and expressive risks and to find their own authentic voice. Growth happens on the stage in the Trustey Family Theatre, around the Harkness tables in the Upper School, during Morning Meeting throughout the Lower School, and everywhere in between. Success for one student might be mastering a role in the Upper School winter musical; for another, it may be telling a personal story during an all-school meeting, or leading a fundraising campaign in Lower School homerooms. Some Shore students find their voice through writing, others through discussion, art, music, or service.

The path toward authentic voice is challenging, requiring bravery, risk-taking, and resilience in the face of failure. Children in Pre-K are asked to stand on stage in the Theatre to lead the Pledge of Allegiance; slightly older elementary-age students share their talents, recite poetry, and act in short plays. Meanwhile, in Lower School homerooms, children are encouraged to share ideas and feelings in class meetings, to learn the give and take of collaboration through partner projects, and to present their work in the form of booklets, digital movies, sculptures, code, engineering, and public speaking.

Upper Schoolers spend the critical years between sixth and eighth grade mastering Harkness-style discussion around distinctive oval tables in history, English, and science classrooms. Through discussion, they learn to speak their minds, listen actively, engage others in ideas, and interrogate their own opinions based on those of their peers. In the arts, students encounter challenging new techniques, they strive to engineer solutions in the iLab, and they find confidence in music or clay. And in service, Upper Schoolers are asked to consider their place in their communities and to ask how they may serve. Through it all, students discover a passion for creation, for community, for inquiry, or for leadership.

In finding their authentic voice, Shore students of every age discover what inspires them about the world, and about themselves. They take charge of their own learning and growth, gaining critical agency as readers, writers, speakers, creators, and collaborators. When they leave Shore, young people take with them a confident sense of engagement with the world that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.