Even though The Ethel Walker School is located in bucolic Simsbury, CT, studying here is a truly global experience. Students from 18 different countries and 18 different states plus Puerto Rico gather together to engage in a full course of study that benefits from global differences and highlights various points of view.
Global Education Programming
At Walker’s, we strive to provide multiple perspectives in every course. The English department carefully select texts to be representative of cultures around the world. The History department engages students to see the world from a global lens starting in the sixth grade. Sixth and seventh graders study Modern Cultures, a unique Human Geography course that emphasizes cross cultural comparison and strong communication skills.
The ninth grade Global Connections class is a cornerstone experience in which students work collaboratively to view a region of the world at a specific time in history and to engage in the complexities of each individual situation. In math and science, real world problem solving and hands-on engagement with material create a broad view of each topic.
Nowhere is the global perspective more present than in the Environmental Science course that studies the complex issues facing the future of our planet and evaluates practical solutions to these issues. The study of foreign language at Walker's creates bridges which connect students to world cultures, both modern and ancient, through written and oral communication as well as cultural awareness.
Students at The Ethel Walker School may earn the Advanced Placement International Diploma through their time here. More information about the APID can be found at CollegeBoard.org.
In addition to service learning opportunities through our renowned Habitat for Humanity and ServCorps programs in other states, The Ethel Walker School participates in many other travel opportunities outside of the United States:
Students in an exciting new course, focusing on the historical parallels between South Africa and the United States, will travel to South Africa in November 2012. The course will be team-taught by faculty from Walker's and the Metropolitan Learning Center, a 6-12th grade magnet school in Bloomfield, CT. Students from the two schools will study together during summer and fall in the US and then spend two weeks together in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. The trip itinerary includes visits to schools, townships, government offices and markets where students will meet government leaders, teachers, economists, activists and high school peers bringing their classroom study to life. With anticipated support from the Humanities Council of Connecticut, students from the two schools will then collaborate to research, develop and present a joint project about what they have learned.
Language department faculty members have led trips to destinations where their language and culture curriculum can be enhanced with first hand experience. A recent trip to Italy brought the girls to witness the very places where the Latin language was born and flourished. A trip to Spain provided students with a home stay experience as well as language classes and cultural insight.
The Ethel Walker School participates in exchanges with peer schools around the world. These exchanges are meant to provide our students with the opportunity to immerse themselves into a culture and a life that is at once brand new to them and, because we have carefully chosen our peer schools, comfortable and supportive. We have formed partnerships with independent schools in four countries (and counting) who share a commitment to a rigorous academic program, a diverse and welcoming community and a full breadth of non-academic and cultural activities. Host families from schools both abroad and at Walker’s help to complete the experience and the partnerships between schools.
Current and future exchanges include Dollar Academy and Loretto School in Scotland, Nga Tawa School in New Zealand, St. Catherine's School in Australia, St. Michael's Collegiate School in Tasmania, and King's Academy in Jordan.