Confidence, Leadership, Academic Excellence
Derby’s academic curriculum builds from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8, creating confidence through achievement and emphasizing the strong work ethic needed for long-term success. Our students learn by doing, using Derby’s classrooms and facilities for exploring creative problem-solving.
Engaged faculty and cross-disciplinary projects foster the essential skills of innovation, critical thinking, collaboration – and a lifelong passion for learning. Our graduates gain admission to top secondary schools and succeed wherever they choose to go after Derby.
Teaching and Learning
The Department of Teaching and Learning is a big part of our approach to education and ensures that everyday, each child is engaged and inspired by an educational experience in line with our school’s motto, “Improve Both Mind and Heart.” The department provides research-based instructional and curricular support to our talented faculty by focusing on four aspects crucial to the success of an independent school: Growth, Feedback, Choice, and Community.
Collective teacher efficacy is the strongest predictor of student growth at an educational institution. Essentially, a faculty that has the tools and training to positively impact student learning, creates a school with great student success. The Department of Teaching and Learning contributes to this success through:
Creating a culture of learning and growth for both students and teachers
The Derby Academy Faculty and Evaluation and Growth Plan is anchored in the belief that teachers are also learners who continue to grow throughout their careers. This plan provides teachers with the structure and resources needed to embrace a growth-mindset approach to their teaching, with students as the principal beneficiaries of their increased professional learning and success. Teachers cycle through phases that have them “Growing” and “Giving” back to the Derby educational community.
Research and Best Practices
The department has created the Derby Foundational Skills Program that builds essential skills students need for future success : goal-directed resilience, time management/prioritizing, organization, flexible thinking, and study skills. In fact, educational researchers have found these foundational skills to be one of the best predictors of future academic success.
Our faculty are trained to use student-specific data to drive their next instructional moves and teaching points for each individual student. We make our small classes seem even smaller with math and literacy specialists who support and enrich the classroom learning for students in the Lower and Middle School. In the Upper School, resource periods provide students the time to meet with faculty for one-on-one or small group instruction.