The curriculum at Sussex School is intellectually engaging for students, designed with a progressive emphasis. At each grade level the curriculum has been thoughtfully crafted with essential understandings and questions that were developed to guide inquiry and involve students in their own learning. At Sussex School students develop the skills needed to think critically, conceptually, and creatively and to work collaboratively.

The Sussex curriculum is academically challenging and strives for each student to reach deep understanding. Facts and skills are embedded within interdisciplinary problems, projects, and questions. Project based inquiry techniques allow teachers to guide students through content, contextualizing concepts and providing authentic purposes for skill acquisition. Core concepts and conceptual understandings are developed from grade to grade and students play a vital role in designing the curriculum. Learning at Sussex involves constructing ideas rather than passive absorption of information.

At Sussex our curriculum

  • attends to the whole child. Intellectual and emotional growth is fostered.
  • emphasizes and builds community. Children learn collaboratively from and with each other.
  • provides many opportunities for problem solving.

We strive for students to 

  • find intrinsic motivation.
  • make decisions concerning their learning and participate in a democratic environment.
  • think deeply and engage in active learning, in school and the community.

Our curriculum is designed with the understanding that

  • learners bring their own experiences and backgrounds. Each learner is unique.
  • the teacher is a facilitator in the learning process.
  • reflection is a necessary part of learning and responsibility for learning rests with the learner. Students must be actively involved in their learning.
  • students should be challenged slightly above their current level of development and learning is a social process.

View our Sample Lessons and Projects here.  View the Core Subjects Curriculum Guide here.


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"Beyond snowball fights with teachers, protracted Math Counts review sessions at Bente’s house, and nights spent counting shooting stars in Utah’s endless deserts, a testimonial of Sussex must describe the collective curiosity instilled in each student. Indeed, by building a collective curiosity, Sussex students grow beyond their own egos, root their trust in the community as a whole, and foster relationships to not only explore and understand the world as an individual, but as a collective."

– Cascade Tuholske ’02