Education at Westridge is much more than classroom-based learning. It is a perspective-shaping experience. From an early age, we expose students to a variety of cultures and laguages so that they leave this school with a broad sense of the world and all the ways they can shape it.
In social studies, girls study the Western hemisphere in 5th grade and ancient civilizations in 6th grade. There are often interdisciplinary connections made between the social studies program and integrated language arts program. Beginning in 5th grade, Lower School students study Spanish by being immersed in a language-rich environment that encourages speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. During Experiential Week, typically held in March, girls have the option to participate in activities off-campus that engage their hearts, minds, and souls by attending a variety of short trips, such as a two-day marine biology trip to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point.
The Middle School program emphasizes an interdisciplinary curriculum which integrates experiential education and service learning into the students' academic program. During Discovery Week, typically held in March, students have the option to explore topics in mixed age groups outside of the classroom. Past trips include, Joshua Tree and the California Coastline where students have opportunities in creative arts, cultural awareness, outdoor education, travel, and service. A sampling of some of the classroom courses offered include:
- Cultural Studies (English/History)
- American Studies
- Modern & Classical Languages (Mandarin, Latin, Spanish)
- Service Learning
- Visual & Performing Arts
In Upper School, the focus of learning is for students to make an individual connection and to be fully engaged with the material. Rather than simply receiving and repeating information, students are encouraged to think individually and crtically and to view themselves not merely as beneficiaries, but as contributors to education and society as a whole. In the history program, students connect history with contemporary questions and issues and are encouraged to consider a wide range of viewpoints. Students have the option to participate in Interim week, typically held in March, where they may journey internationally or within the United States.
A sampling of some of the classroom courses offered include:
- Perspectives in Literature: Signs, Systems, and Codes
- Word Views: Connections Between the Ancient and Modern
- The Modern World System
- Global Issues
- Comparative Religions
- The Modern Middle East: History, Culture, and Society
- Modern and Classical Languages (Mandarin, Latin, Spanish)
Throughout Upper School, students work diligently on a Community Action Project (CAP) with and for a cause they feel deeply connected to. The process, done over the course of four years, includes research, engagement, execution, reflection, and sharing about their cause. Learn more about CAP here.