A Global Viewpoint
We believe global perspectives and international experience are essential for success in the 21st century. The school's commitment to these ideals begins early, with a vibrant International Studies program. Students from Pre-Primary (age 2) to grade 9 participate in a yearlong course of study that offers the opportunity to increase awareness and knowledge of diverse countries, peoples, and cultures throughout the world.
Lower Campus students learn about the culture and unique traditions of the world. At the Pre-Primary and Primary level, the scope of learning is focused on the countries in North America: Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Kindergarten students formally study individual countries in South America. First Grade students learn about countries in Europe; Second Grade students learn about Asian countries; Third Grade students focus on countries of Africa. Additionally, each classroom either performs a song, dance or instrumental piece to highlight the culture of their country. The many sessions of practice and preparation culminate in the annual International Day performance – a delightfully colorful, informative, and entertaining event.
Global citizenship is further enhanced by language studies. Spanish is offered at every grade level and Mandarin is available beginning in grade 2. Students in grades 4 through 6 study Spanish and Mandarin. Students in grade 7 through 9 have the option to choose between Spanish, French and Mandarin. Six foreign language faculty members guide students through a curriculum that enhances their understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of different cultures.
Upper Campus foreign language students participate in several school-wide events. This year will be the 13th year anniversary of the “Foreign Language Week.” The week-long celebration starts with an Upper School breakfast and continues with many activities in which students present cultural events, famous people or regions, and traditions of many foreign countries to their classmates. Classes share their work and discoveries. Students also participate in the French and Spanish National Contest in grades 6 through 9 and compete nationally. Palm Beach Day Academy has had several National winners in the top 10%.
The China Partnership builds meaningful relationships through special studies, projects and travel to that country. On alternating years, a group of PBDA students travel to China. This experience exposes our students to a far away culture, and connects them to other children in that culture - making the experience far more than a typical tour. The experience benefits the children who go, and the children who simply hear the stories of the adventure.