The Art of a Well-Rounded Education: A Portrait of a Marin Primary & Middle School Graduate

Marin Primary

Upcycled fashion may not be all the rage in Milan this season, but it was front and center during the 5th grade “Trashion: Wearable Art” fashion show at Marin Primary & Middle School! This past fall, students had just completed a design arc in which they created something wearable: clothing, costumes, accessories, and hats from recycled materials. Discussions centered around the Pacific garbage gyres, reusing trash, sustainability, and conveying an intentional message through art, and fifth grade teachers partnered with our MP&MS Projects Lab specialist to bring this learning to life. Limiting their use of tape, glue, and decoration, students compensated by making string out of plastic bottles, tape from labels, or belts out of cardboard.

Beginning in kindergarten, the Projects Lab emboldens students to imagine, design, and create tangible objects from their ideas, while enhancing confidence and problem solving skills along the way. The practical application of concepts reinforces classroom studies in math, the sciences, and other curricular areas. The unit illustrates that students can effect change for the greater good of the planet through creative thinking and empathy.

The art of the well-rounded education at MP&MS goes far beyond the Projects Lab. At MP&MS, middle school students participate in an arts carousel, splitting their time equally over the course of the year into trimesters of art, drama, and music. ​Amidst the many disruptions of Covid, MP&MS has remained committed to integrating the arts on a regular and frequent basis, embracing creativity as pivotal to a balanced education. ​In an era where our focus is on the screen, the arts at MP&MS allow students to learn in the real world.

The MP&MS learning journey amplifies each student’s inherent strengths, helping them to build skills that will serve them throughout their lives: critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, collaboration, social awareness, and emotional courage. Each stage of their development is a building block to ensure future success in the classroom and beyond.

As graduates, MP&MS students emerge with a passion for inquiry and empathy. They are:

  •  Empowered Learners ​who think critically and creatively, are self-directed, and develop a personal relationship with learning.
  • Authentic Advocates ​who learn with and from each other and teach the group to respect the individual. MP&MS graduates know who they are, how they learn best, and how to advocate for themselves and others.
  • Confident Contributors ​who develop strong alliances with teachers and adults based on mutual respect. Our graduates communicate with ease and confidence one-on-one and in front of a group.
  • Playful Innovators ​who are inspired to create, innovate, and play as they learn.
  • Empathetic Leaders ​with big hearts, who are community-minded and are driven to make a difference.

At MP&MS, the arts provide a way for students to celebrate creativity within a vigorous academic program and become leaders, independent thinkers, self-advocates, and engaged citizens. Through experiential learning, students learn resilience, embrace authenticity, and spark growth.

How to help:

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