Discover Marin Primary and Middle School’s Specialist Classes

Marin Primary Middle School drama class

It’s September, and parents are already thinking about which school might be the best fit for their children for the 2024-2025 school year. There are lots of choices, making it hard for families to decide where to apply. After all, it’s only natural that parents want their kindergarteners, elementary school-age learners and middle schoolers to have the best educational experience possible.

At Marin Primary & Middle School, the school’s specialist classes are a standout, and offer learners the kind of opportunities hard to find elsewhere. MP&MS doesn’t put its specialist classes — which include art, drama, Exploration Lab, garden, music, Projects Lab, Spanish, Tree School, library and PE— in individual silos, but instead structures them to allow for hands-on learning, provide unique ways to develop real-life skills and talents, and even weave in core curriculum lessons in the process.

Examples of these are found throughout the school. In Projects Lab, 6th graders build their own ukuleles, a 20-step process that integrates math and science skills, art techniques and real woodworking. Students apply their scientific knowledge of solar radiation to sound waves, work with equivalent fractions to adding the frets, and use different tools to shape the pieces and hold the instrument together. They then tap into their artistic creativity to put their ‘personal stamp’ on their own instrument. The final piece of the project is inviting the school’s music teacher to teach them a few chords so they can play the MP&MS school song on their new instruments.

Primary students have the opportunity to try engineering, coding, robotics, and more in the school’s Exploration Lab. This maker space allows students to innovate, discover, and be creative while learning new skills and ways to integrate technology into projects in other classes and beyond. Students recently designed, created, and presented a trash robot to help keep campus clean and protect the environment!

Located in Larkspur, MP&MS is an eight acre Eden of outdoor spaces that connects seamlessly to the beautiful surrounding area of Marin County. The outdoors are a big part of campus life, with both core and specialist classes spending time outside soaking up the sun while learning. Students with (or without) green thumbs take turns in the garden, where they spend time nurturing garden beds for harvest in the Fall, pulling weeds after heavy rains, gathering ripe fruit and veggies, and planting crops such as corn, squash, and beans for the summer. The school’s youngest students adore “Tree School”, a program that provides the opportunity to explore natural playscapes around Marin County bi-weekly. Preschooler’s learn about plants, trees and parts of nature’s bounty through exploration and play.

5th graders have fun with Stanford University-developed Design Thinking Projects. Students first interview members of the school’s community about a challenge in their classroom or office, then creatively problem-solve by coming up with an idea to help with that challenge. Next, they then spend time designing, building prototypes, and ultimately crafting their projects, which included organizational shelving units, a weather board, crates for holding student notebooks, and more! Students use their applied skills to help others and expand their understanding of the impact they can have in the world around them.

Incorporating specialist classes to enrich traditional classroom learning reflects the value that Marin Primary & Middle School places on connections as the foundation of the best learning environment—tying together its community across academic disciplines, cultures, and stages of growth. It aims to make education meaningful, while encouraging pride in self, respect for others and enthusiasm for learning. 

For more information about Marin Primary & Middle School and to find out how to apply, please visit the school’s website or send them an email at [email protected] to sign up for a school tour.