Academic excellence is the cornerstone of a Porter-Gaud education. Thanks to an outstanding faculty, comprehensive learning resources and strong support from parents, our students rank among the nation’s best, both individually and collectively.
However, the goal of intellectual growth goes far beyond the ability to perform well on standardized tests. Development of a well-rounded scholar requires a love of learning, healthy curiosity and a disciplined approach to mastering intellectual challenges. These are the traits of a life-long learner, and they’re the tools that help ensure the success of our graduates no matter what they face as their academic and professional careers unfold.
Love of Learning
From the earliest grades to the advanced placement courses of the Upper School, students are taught by faculty members whose love for their subject areas is infectious. Small classes mean that lessons can be interactive rather than
lecture-driven, so students don’t just absorb ideas, they question them, define them in their own terms, and relate to them through their own experiences. Teachers become colleagues – role models in a dynamic world where people never stop learning.
Whether they’re working on a new computer program or writing an essay on Chaucer, each student’s curiosity is an asset in the drive to master subjects. Rather than being asked to sit quietly and absorb the “right answers,” students are encouraged to ask questions and explore ideas. At every grade level, lively curiosity is nurtured as an essential tool in building knowledge and understanding.
The academic workload at Porter-Gaud demands effective study/research skills and time-management abilities that are developed steadily throughout each student’s career. To ensure success, progress is constantly tracked and reports are issued any time a change in performance occurs, so action can be taken immediately. Upper School students have faculty advisors who help with academic concerns, and college counselors are assigned to keep college decision-making and application processes moving forward. Student-to-student tutoring programs, informal study groups, after-hours teacher assistance, online access to faculty notes and digital presentations – a full spectrum of resources is available to make sure each Porter-Gaud student moves from one successful learning experience to the next. The confidence and self-awareness they develop through these efforts will help them deal effectively with any challenge they face in the future. We put so much energy into our curriculum because we want our graduates to excel in top universities, not just qualify for entry. And we want them to grow throughout their careers, not just find a good job. Properly encouraged, intellectual growth is a process that continues for a lifetime.