A Creative and Innovative Learning Environment: The Frontier

Mar 23, 2022 | Blog, Come to Play, Have Fun, Innovation, Inquiry, Lower School News

You may have seen The Frontier, the unique playground on the Lower Campus. Your students may even come home with sand-filled shoes, telling stories about their adventures on this outdoor space. But how much do you know about the intentionality behind this innovative, imaginative area? 

Designed as a land where all things are possible, students experience a unique way to play every day on The Frontier. With instruments, a working water pump, an amphitheater, a tree fort, a sandpit, tunnels, pathways, tree stump stools, and slides built into hills, this is a place for all to discover and explore. 

Helping to connect Mount Vernon students to the natural world through unstructured free play in a rolling, creative, and innovative outdoor learning environment, The Frontier provides students through grade 5 the opportunity to build, create, perform and collaborate, regularly.

As students reconnect to the basics of unbridled fun, they begin to master essential life skills such as abstract thinking, imagination, problem-solving, social cognition, collaboration, construction, and experimentation. 

When asked what their favorite parts of The Frontier is, Lower School students shared,

The slide!!” (This was a very popular answer.) 

The shovels and pails!” 

“Playing in the sand and digging holes!” 

“Running around and playing with my friends!” 

Our learners require inspiring, incredible places to create, play, learn and ultimately, grow. Their possibilities, along with their imaginations, are endless.

With creative energy in an unlimited supply, the magic of discovery takes place daily. Mini on-property sheds open to reveal a wealth of materials, such as fabric, paint, writing tools, and digging supplies, to support and enhance students’ work on the frontier. These everyday items take on a new life when available outdoors. Natural play contributes to the overall physical, cognitive and emotional development of our students. 

So what are you waiting for?! Stop by and experience The Frontier for yourself!