Grade Level Programming: 9th Grade - FORGE
Sarah O'Neill

Freshman year of high school is a formative time for teenagers, and at Tilton School this is taken into consideration when designing the 9th grade Forge program and each students’ Guided Program of Study.

The Forge curriculum is designed to engage students to think critically, solve real-world problems and effectively communicate their solutions. Through project-based learning, students collaborate in asking questions, debating ideas, and collecting data. The learning theme of the Forge program is Self-Discovery, with the essential questions being Who Am I? and Who Do I Want to Become?  

Students begin crafting their personalized Guided Program of Study (GPS) in partnership with faculty, most notably their advisor, through assessments, S.M.A.R.T goals, and self-reflection.

Through the development of their personalized Guided Program of Study, 9th-grade students will also work with their advisor and college counseling staff to establish a strong working relationship. This will include creating a strategic plan for course selection and guidance about purposeful involvement beyond the classroom.

The elements of Forge include:

  • Community-driven residential and advisory programs including health and wellness and a focus on team-building in outdoor activities;
  • A year-long Forge Seminar Class focusing on the development of the five Essential Skills;
  • Cross-discipline content connections in all classes;
  • Directed community service projects including the Empty Bowls project;
  • And the development of design-thinking strategies and skills.

The freshman program is monitored and facilitated by a group of designated faculty, led by Forge Grade Level Leader Eliza Smith.

 “The Forge year prepares students to be better participating members of society that are aware of everything that’s going on around them,” Smith says of the program. “Even more so, they become aware of what their part is because they are more confident in who they are.”

This engaging and rigorous academic program is designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity, promote active learning, and instill long-lasting study skills that serve as an academic foundation upon which students build throughout their time at Tilton.

Interested in learning more about the Forge program at Tilton School? Inquire today!


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