Discovery Weeks at the Riley School

Fri, 01/24/2020 - 9:00am

Middle and Upper school children, ages 7-13, began the New Year at Riley by taking a deep dive into Discovery Weeks.  For two weeks following vacation, the children explored chosen topics in a broad and experiential format. Guided by Riley School facilitators within small groups, children split their day between researching & creating their projects and attending regularly scheduled classes.  “Discovery Weeks is about spending time with the subject, sharing discoveries and research with one another, following sidebars of information, and exploring creative ways to demonstrate their interest and knowledge,” explains Head of School, Rebecca Clapp.

An exhibition of the projects was held for family and friends on the evening of Jan 21st.  The children created a scavenger hunt of questions for the visitors to discover, such as: What was the most popular food in 260 B.C.E.?, What are two types of coral?, and How many prisoners have escaped from Alcatraz? The evening began with a marionette show, and a piano composition recital. There was a sampling of favorite Dominican food, a cerebral cake with serving options of left or right brain, a mountain bike video, a Daytona 500 track model, and many more creative representations using tri-fold dispay boards.  The children presented their topics to each other, during an all-school gathering the following day.  

The Riley School guides children to become independent, lifelong learners and innovative thinkers. Founded as a progressive, ungraded elementary school in 1972, Riley recognizes each child’s unique learning style.  The individualized curriculum challenges children to express themselves and develop their own, intellectual and creative capabilities through doing, questioning and by discovery. 


Accredited by the New England Association of School and Colleges and the Maine State Department of Education, Riley School enrolls children K - 9th grade, and  2–4 yrs for the Wade Acres pre-school program. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2020-21 school year. For more information visit and call the office 207-596-6405 to schedule a visit.