Our School

2nd Nature Academy | Nashua, NH

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2nd Nature Academy is a private elementary and middle school for children in preschool through Grade 8 where inquiry, exploration, and experiential learning are at the heart of our education. We take an innovative approach to learning by addressing real life issues. With an integrated curriculum, we take students on a journey of critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration, and altruism. By breaking down barriers between subjects, our educators make learning more meaningful and provide opportunities for deeper understanding. Students are expected to actively participate in their learning and achieve to their fullest potential.

2nd Nature Academy is a multifaceted educational community of learners, families, educators, farmers, volunteers, and community members with shared beliefs and attitudes. We share a common commitment to a set of ideals that support sustainability, life-long learning skills, service learning, and humane education. We build upon the academic curriculum with programs in the arts, music, and foreign languages. Together we work as a community to instill a sense of wonder and curiosity, to cultivate a sense of belonging, and to establish relationships with fellow humans and our natural world.

 

2nd Nature Academy Student-Centered Philosophy

At 2nd Nature Academy, we strive to provide a learning environment that enables students to experience success in all curriculum areas through the use of an integrated, multi-sensory curriculum. Our goal is to provide an alternative educational environment that focuses on Dr. Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory. This pedagogy encompasses eight intelligence areas: verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, bodily/kinesthetic, musical, visual/spatial, interpersonal/companion, intrapersonal/self, and naturalist. It is our belief that all children do not acquire knowledge in the same way. Therefore, we provide many varied instructional methods in order to create a more diverse learning climate. Teachers embrace all eight intelligence strengths while planning lessons, and students are encouraged to approach learning through investigating, questioning, reasoning, and predicting.

Pedagogical Goals
  • To provide a student-centered learning environment that focuses on the whole child
  • To embrace eight intelligence strengths as indicated by Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University
  • To provide the fundamentals of education using inquiry based learning and multi-sensory instruction
  • To foster an attitude of cultural appreciation
  • To support physical, social, emotional and cognitive well-being
  • To promote values and life skills such as responsibility, punctuality, consideration, understanding, altruism, and compassion
  • To encourage an appreciation of our natural environment
  • To develop an enthusiasm for learning and acquiring new skills

2nd Nature Academy Student Expectations

Students are encouraged to approach learning through investigating, questioning, reasoning, and predicting. While teachers guide and facilitate the learning process, students are expected to take an active role in their learning. The classroom is a viable community and learning is collaborative. Students are expected to work cooperatively, actively participate, contribute fairly, offer honest feedback, accept corrective criticism, share thoughtful insights, and support other students.

 

 

Campus & The Grounds

2nd Nature Academy and Nature’s Pathways are located on The Nature of Things campus, the site of a former 18th century dairy farm. Consisting of 39 acres of pristine land in south Nashua, NH and Dunstable, MA, the grounds also abut roughly 700 acres of conserved and protected land in both municipalities. With fields, forests, ponds, wetlands, and a working farm, our grounds are the perfect place to learn, explore, and play!

The sustainable campus also includes:

  • Salt-water swimming pool
  • Challenge elements and low ropes course
  • Ball fields and courts
  • Hiking trails
  • Working animal farm with animal barns and riding ring
  • Duck pond teeming with wildlife
  • Organic greenhouse and gardens
  • Fruit orchard
  • Cultured and wild berry bushes and brambles

The Facilities

Our property boasts several healthy, high-performance “green” buildings, including the first LEED Platinum Certified non-residential building in New Hampshire and winner of the 2010 Lean & Green Building Award from Business New Hampshire Magazine. The buildings meet strict criteria for site selection and sustainable building practices while utilizing highly efficient plumbing systems, solar voltaic electricity, and a super-efficient geothermal heating system. They also utilize recycled and local materials, maximize natural lighting, include certified wood from sustainably managed forests, and are void of products that contain toxins that may contribute to unhealthy buildings. As a result, our student body, faculty, and staff all benefit from working and learning in a healthy environment.

Learning Through Our Surroundings

The many green aspects of the school buildings and campus are utilized on a daily basis in the school to teach about energy, conservation, recycling, water efficiency, earth science, biology, farming, sustainability, ecology, weather, economics, health and nutrition, community, collaboration, and critical thinking.

 

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