The UCLA Lab School curriculum is designed to engage children in deep thinking and collaborative problem-solving across the disciplines.
Art, literacy, mathematics, music, science, social studies and life skills are taught through an inquiry-based approach.
We use national standards to create learning goals in each core subject area. Then we engage children in the inquiry process, using their interests and voices to create unique paths to discovery.
We provide a supportive environment that integrates the recent neuroscience of learning and relationships and connects theory and practice in a high-quality program.
Our Safe School system reinforces our values as a community of respect, kindness, honesty, integrity and responsibility. Beginning in our Early Childhood program and building through Upper, students learn tools and techniques to express themselves with confidence and to listen to the ideas of others with curiosity, respect and a learner’s mindset.
Features of our curriculum:
Meets or exceeds educational standards in core subject areas
Engages learners through an inquiry approach
Channels children’s natural curiosity and creativity
Develops critical thinking
Builds deep understanding of subject matter
Promotes justice, equity, diversity and inclusion for all
Encourages a lifelong love of learning
The following standards guide our curriculum development:
The visual and performing arts (VAPA) are integrated into every area of the UCLA Lab School curriculum. The arts help children observe our world in new ways. They serve as a dynamic lens that can widen and deepen learning in other subject areas. The arts enhance our ability to know and appreciate the variety of languages, cultures and people that make up our global mosaic.
UCLA Lab School’s iSTEAM Lab is a dedicated maker space where students engage in hands-on learning to develop their ability to think, investigate, and communicate like scientists and engineers. Work done in the iSTEAM Lab is integrated with the core concepts of the curriculum. Cross-pollination of activities encourages creativity and invention. Each year we are excited to see what grows out of the collaborations in this dynamic space.
We give students many opportunities to develop their literacy skills by speaking, listening, reading and writing. Young children use their oral language skills to learn to read. Older children read to learn. We encourage all children to develop their passion and identity as readers and writers. Our goal is for our students to read deeply and widely and communicate effectively throughout their lives.
We believe all children are mathematicians and have an innate sense of mathematics concepts. Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI), a highly effective research-based program, is central to our teaching of math. Teachers use children’s thinking as a basis for curricular decision-making.
Our students are taught to look at their world through a musical lens and explore the connections between music and the other areas of learning, such as math, science, social studies and literacy. During music class, students explore music through singing, improvisation and rhythm, as well as musical notation and music history.
UCLA Lab School faculty and researchers have developed a school-wide system for maintaining a safe and nurturing environment that promotes learning. Safe School articulates and reinforces our values as a community. These values include respect, kindness, honesty, integrity and responsibility.
We teach science and social studies together to help children learn about themselves and about the world. We use a systematic process of inquiry. This helps students build both content knowledge and information literacy skills such as formulating questions and finding and evaluating resources that they can apply to learning in any context.