About

What Is Progressive Education?

I love to walk the halls at Orchard - kids talk to you, they smile, they share their problem or their joy, then even ask you if you need something when you look a little lost. Orchard shows them the importance of acknowledging one another and communicating, even with adults!
- Orchard Parent

List of 3 items.

  • Joyful Partners in Learning

    • Joyful learning occurs when a connection is made between the developmental readiness of the learner and the complexity of the material guided by a teacher who knows each learner well
    • Responsive teaching is only possible when each student is known for their passions, interests, strengths and challenges
    • It is essential that the school ensures the emotional and physical safety of all members of the community in order to foster experimenting, risk taking and ownership of learning. Students gain confidence in their ability to advocate for themselves and others and in the power of their ideas when teachers honor their individual voices, solutions and thinking. In this climate it’s ok to make mistakes.
    • Parents are partners. Students flourish when parents understand and uphold the school’s mission, communicate closely with their children’s teachers and support the school philanthropically
  • Courageous, Compassionate Citizens

    • We foster active citizenship and stewardship rooted in justice, integrity, character, ethics and courageous compassion 
    • Different voices and perspectives enrich us all, and we proactively embrace the rich diversity of the world
    • Practicing skills such as collaboration, industry, creativity, flexibility, perseverance and critical thinking prepare our students for a lifetime of learning and leadership
  • Curious Minds, Confident Scholars

    • The best pathway to deep understanding, skills and knowledge is through active, rigorous, hands-on learning that taps into students’ instinctive curiosity
    • Beyond traditional educational practices, knowledge is constructed through play, social interaction and direct experience, and this approach leads to academic achievement and success
    • Comfort with complex questions that have multiple possible solutions leads to open-minded exploration and sophisticated comprehension
    • Teachers lead by example, and model a willingness to grow, a deep knowledge of best practices reflecting current research and a passion for learning
    • Nature is a profound teacher; therefore, lessons intentionally designed to invite students to interact with the natural world have tremendous potential
This is the 95th year of successful outcomes at The Orchard School. We are a private school in Indianapolis, Indiana with a commitment to advance each student’s academic success, self-confidence, open mindedness, ethical character, leadership, and love of learning. Orchard provides a progressive education with a focus on experiential hands-on learning. Our 43-acre wooded campus provides many outdoor learning spaces letting us stay true to our commitment that nature is the best teacher.