Serving Preschool Through 8th Grade in the San Francisco East Bay Since 1962

The Genesis of Curiosity Workshop

Step onto campus on a given Friday afternoon, and you'll witness the energy of our 4th and 5th graders engaged in dynamic small group activities. It’s part of the Curiosity Workshop, an exciting new pilot program that made its debut at Seven Hills last fall.
Curiosity Workshop provides space for Seven Hills students to try something new, offering them the chance to initiate ideas, and pursue their areas of interest, explore burning questions or passions, and dive into ideas that spark their curiosity. Here's a glimpse into some of the workshops that captivated students during the fall semester, as well as some new ideas percolating for the spring:

  • Musical Theater
  • Coding in the Tech Lab
  • Soccer Skills
  • Cheer
  • Drawing and Painting - anime, comics, portraits and people, murals
  • Ceramics and Sculptures
  • Project Runway - clothing design, sewing, modeling, photography
  • Thread the Needle -  crochet, knitting, embroidery, needlepoint
  • Crafters Delight - jewelry making, calligraphy, origami
  • Junior Top Chef - dinners and desserts
  • Story Curiosity - book club and writing stories
  • Recording Studio - composing songs, singing, digital recording, producing, editing
  • Dance Dance Revolution - choreography and performance
  • All the World’s a Stage - script writing, improv, theater tech, stand-up comedy, magic tricks
  • "The Future is Now" Tech - Intro Robotics
  • Coding
  • Digital Arts and Animation
  • Earth Alive - gardening, marine biology, water and waves, nature art
  • Chemistry and Explosions
  • Gaga Ball
  • Martial Arts
  • Who Wants to be a Millionaire?  - business ideas
  • Let’s Build It! - Lego, egg drop, race cars, bottle rockets
  • House of Cards - card games
  • History and Research

During the December Green and White assembly, a few groups showcased their learnings and the spirit of collaboration across the 4th and 5th grades. The musical theater group wowed the audience with a performance from Annie, and the self-styled "Seven Hills Slay Squad" impressed their peers with a coordinated cheer routine.

While this idea is evolving, it has garnered support from the professional community under the guidance of the 4th and 5th grade faculty. The workshops go beyond simple “choice time” by elevating the experience through the support of dedicated adults. Using a scaffolded approach, teachers and administrative staff leverage the novelty of the cross-grade groupings to help connect new peers with shared interests. They aim to cultivate these interests and questions, offering space, time, and materials while following the initiatives of the children. Periodic gatherings allow the teaching teams to reflect and fine-tune the program, thinking through new ways to help children move from brainstorming big ideas to effectively managing them within a finite time frame. We want to provide space and time for our students to make choices,  infusing imagination, creativity, and playfulness to push the boundaries of conventional learning.

Aligned with Seven Hills' commitment to fostering student agency, the overarching goal of the Curiosity Workshop is to empower students in their experiential education. As we look ahead to the upcoming semesters, we look forward to observing our students delight in the simple pleasures of pursuing shared interests with their peers and exploring the myriad possibilities that their curiosity unlocks.

To delve into the research on 21st-century learners and the importance of fostering curiosity, check out:

Medium: Rediscovering the Spark: Why Cultivating Curiosity Matters More Than Ever?

Greater Good Magazine: How to Cultivate Curiosity in Your Classroom