Canterbury School recognizes that the elements of a student’s intellectual, moral and social growth are inextricably intertwined. We strive to create an environment that supports such growth through respect for self and others, and a cooperative attitude toward learning and working within a community of high standards and expectations.
Within the academic curriculum our faculty incorporates opportunities for students to grow intellectually. Learning is a process that extends well beyond the classroom, and the most enduring form of teaching is by example. As a community, we recognize many daily opportunities for promoting and modeling ethical choices and appropriate behavior.
Our advisory groups, daily Chapel, community service efforts and religion classes are just a few of the programs that promote character education.
Through these programs we strive to create an atmosphere of trust, honesty and mutual respect among students, teachers and parents. These qualities will, in turn, promote not aonly academic growth, but also the development of moral strength and self-discipline – qualities of character that will enable students to become positive, lifelong contributors to society.
Each day the entire Middle School comes together for an interdenominational Chapel. Wednesday Chapel time also includes students in grades K-4. This time for reflection includes a personal message from a faculty member, presentations from students or a visit from a community leader. Chapel topics deal with issues important to the lives of students including local and world issues, service and volunteerism, friendship, self control, compassion and conservation.
Canterbury believes in the benefits of volunteering within a community. To support this belief, community service is expected of all students in various ways at different grade levels. Students have opportunities to learn about volunteerism and helping others through activities such as the canned food drive, a winter clothing drive for the Burmese refugees in our community, a cultural exchange with Burmese refugee children, visits to the SPCA and collections of towels and supplies for animals, an interactive program with Covington Manor where students undergo training to spend time with senior adults, and more.
From service opportunities, to studying religious leaders and Biblical heroes, learning about the differences and similarities of world religions, to supporting individual spiritual growth and promoting peace, Canterbury’s religion program makes an impact on the daily lives of students. While the school is non-denominational, the founders felt it was important it be grounded in Christian principles. In doing so, the school focuses on teaching values and helping students to grow in spirit.
The basic principle of religion classes is to present students with the underlying issues, themes, beliefs and practices common to many religions. The Canterbury community is made up of many religions including Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Christian. With this in mind, classes are respectful of diversity and do not teach doctrine. Religion classes also are seen as a way to address ethical situations and personal beliefs from an intellectual perspective.
The religion teacher will be more than happy to discuss the program when you visit the school.
The Haven is a place and time for students to practice their faith and explore avenues of growth.
It is located in a dedicated area of the Middle School religion classroom and is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays during lunch recess for grades 5-8, and Thursdays at lunch and recess for Grade 8.
The Haven provides a safe and caring environment for students to talk, reflect and pray about those matters which are weighing on their hearts or which are moments for celebration. It is a physical space with the appropriate sacred items for students to practice rituals such as prayer. It also provides a time for appropriate responses to the growth occurring in the student. Those responses may include developing:
- Peacemaking skills
- Conceiving and implementing service opportunities
- Contemplative activities
- Designing and implementing spiritual services for chapel
- Awareness of environmental issues with appropriate action taken
- Understanding of other students and their faiths
- Understanding of a moral right and wrong through the values common in all faiths
Haven Interfaith Parent Group
The Haven Interfaith Parent (HIP) group has been meeting once a month for the past two years. The mission statement for HIP is “to support the mission of Canterbury School and encourage an understanding and appreciation of all beliefs and faiths, with the goal of promoting peace in our community.” After meeting for two years, the group has realized that each of the family’s beliefs are different, but we do have common values. HIP’s vision is to build upon these common values.