The goal of a Seven Arrows education is to create an on-going dynamic relationship between students and the world outside of the Seven Arrows campus. As part of this program, our unique Environmental Outdoor Education (EOE) Program provides every kindergarten through sixth grade student with appropriate grade-level opportunities to apply science principles to the natural world. The environment becomes the classroom and provides experiences that increase ecological awareness and allow each child to develop greater self-reliance, leadership, and confidence. The goal of the EOE program is to let students study concepts in science while understanding that the partnerships which humans create with each other and with natural resources are essential. The application of science concepts to the environment, leadership opportunities, and a development of the social/emotional intelligences is a blend of learning that has the capacity to become a watermark for students because it encompasses multiple intelligences and reaches all types of learners.
The EOE Program lets students experience nature through guides and programs, developing a sense of trust in others, building teams, while practicing cooperation and group problem-solving. Depending on the age level, students go on day hikes or over night trips to locations throughout California, including a hike to Temescal Canyon and Bell Canyon, field trips to the Santa Monica mountains and the beach, and multi-day overnight trips to Catalina, Sacramento, Joshua Tree and Yosemite.
Kindergarteners participate in a series of weekly hikes in Temescal Canyon and surrounding areas, exploring the ecology of the Palisades community. The class has also visited the La Brea Tar Pits to discover Los Angeles’ prehistoric past!
First graders start in the fall with trips to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market to gain a better understanding of local agricultural products. In winter, the class visits the La Ballona Wetlands, a traditional fly-through zone of migrating birds. In spring, our first graders conclude their EOE unit with a visit to TreePeople at the origin of the La Ballona watershed.
Second grade students study marine ecology by experiencing the coastal communities through the eyes of coastal Native Americans, the Chumash, at the Santa Monica Mountains Institute of NatureBridge. A series of three single-day hikes under the guidance of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in the spring prepare students for their culminating field experience at participating Heal the Bay labs on board a Long Beach Marine Institute vessel.
The third grade class explores Temescal Canyon through a day hike and later, with the help of wildlife field biologists, students have an overnight adventure to explore the Audubon’s 4,000 acre Starr Ranch facility in Bell Canyon.
Fourth grade Environmental Education returns to the ocean and participates in an in-depth study of Catalina Island at the USC Wrigley Marine Institute on Catalina Island. While there, student conduct marine ecology studies including snorkeling, tide pooling and nighttime pier trawls. They are housed at the dormitories of the Marine institute for 3 days and 2 nights.
The fifth grade environmental experience is legendary at Seven Arrows: the 4 day / 3 night Joshua Tree National Forest trip. The fifth graders experience desert camping, rock scrambling, climbing, and observation of the flora and fauna of the desert. The unique setting of the desert is the ideal place to observe the versatility and adaptation of living things to their environment.
Our sixth graders head up north to the home of the Sequoias. For 43 years the Yosemite Institute, a campus of NatureBridge, has provided unparalleled outdoor naturalist experiences to thousands. Through the guidance of field biologists, students observe and study the forest ecology of either the Yosemite Valley or the Muir Woods and Marin Headlands. This 7 day / 6 night excursion is known for its unique and hands-on approach to forest and headlands ecology.