Storytime for young readers

PRINT: A Bookstore again hosted Waynflete faculty and a group of pre-and early readers to enjoy an afternoon of stories and activities.

Three books were highlighted at the event: Melia and Jo by Milly Aronson, Off & Away by Cale Atkinson, and What in the World: Numbers in Nature by Nancy Raines Day. Children made book marks connected to the books’ themes and enjoyed a Scavenger Hunt to explore the store and find cut-out characters from the books.

Continue reading “Storytime for young readers”

Codebreaking at PRINT

A group of Waynflete faculty, the staff from Print: A Bookstore, and a group of eager elementary and middle school students enjoyed an afternoon of coding activities together. The book Code Girls: The True Story of the American Women Who Secretly Broke Codes in World War II served as the catalyst for this event. “Coding is something that captures all kinds of minds—the artist, the mathematician, the scientist, the historian, the engineer,” said Lower School Director Anne Hopkins. “There was something for everyone at this event.”

Continue reading “Codebreaking at PRINT”

Congratulations to newly accepted students and families!

Congratulations to newly accepted students and families! We look forward to welcoming you to our vibrant community.

In the meantime, we are eager for you to feel connected and informed about our program and school news. For that, we have the Waynflete Wire, a blog that provides an inside look at the student experience and community events. To learn more about our program, click the “Lower School” in the header above.

Anne Hopkins
Lower School Director

Kids’ Choice in 2-3

“Kids’ Choice” in Waynflete’s 2-3 program is a thematic study that emerges from students’ suggestions about subjects they would like to explore in greater depth.

Medieval Times

There were several highlights! One of the students’ favorite classes was when we studied the early castles, which mostly consisted of a “keep” on a “motte” with a “bailey” surrounded by a “stockade” and “ditch.” After learning these key terms and their functions, we went outside on a beautiful sunny day and built these early fortresses in the snow with partners. They had to build each part and label it.

Another favorite day was learning all about how to attack and defend a castle.  We split the class in half—the attacking army and the defending army—and turned tables over to create a castle wall.  We acted out using a battering ram, catapult, trebuchet, and siege tower to undermine the castle wall.  The defending army acted out using archers, flaming arrows, hot sand and oil, siege towers, and the structural defenses like the drawbridge and the portcullis.

Lastly, we made catapults using tongue depressors, rubber bands, and a plastic spoon. We had a great time using our catapults to launch jumbo marshmallows at block towers to try to knock them down.


We spent the month studying snakes (taxonomy, characteristics of reptiles, snake anatomy) and had several special guest speakers. Kate Ziminsky came in twice, bringing in snake parts from Chewonki to share with us and then returning with Avi’s dad Alex and their pet snake, a Columbian red-tailed boa.  We also had Denise Cieri of Herp Haven Reptile Rescue come to show us six different live snakes. We saw a 25-pound blood python, a common boa, a royal python, and three corn snakes in different morphs (colors.)


We learned about the internal and external anatomy of sharks and spent some time talking about the largest living shark (the whale shark) and the smallest shark (the dwarf lantern shark). We also learned more about the now-extinct Megalodon, the highlight of which was measuring it’s length (49 feet), longer than one of the 2-3 classrooms! The culminating event was a trip to the UNE Biddeford Marine Science Center, where graduate students showed us spiny dogfish sharks from the Gulf of Maine. We got to touch a shark —her name was Lynette—and and learn more about them. We also got to see and touch different shark jaws and teeth.


Students were introduced to a brief history of robotics, including what the science is and how robots have been and are being used today. Students practiced using specific command language to guide other students to construct exact copies of simple designs without any visual clues. Next, they explored commanding Sphero robotic balls with iPads; using a coding app, they then programmed their ball to navigate a large floor maze. Finally, everyone designed, built, and operated a simple drawing machine that created various scribble designs on paper. 


Also opening in September 2018: Lower School playgrounds!

Last Wednesday, during our afternoon faculty meetings, Lower School teachers developed some guiding principles for refurbishing the outdoor playscapes that will be open for business next September:

  • Our outdoor playscapes should reflect our Lower School values and support the development of the whole child—their physical, social, emotional selves—fostering joy, collaboration, creativity, imagination, problem solving, and safe risktaking.
  • Our playscapes should aim to be as flexible as the indoor spaces have been designed to be, so that as our needs and programs evolve—and the ideas of the children grow the possibilities—our spaces can evolve along with them.
  • The opportunities for play should be multifaceted, providing children with the freedom to be playful and to move and explore in wide and varied ways: climbing, swinging, sliding, hanging, sledding, digging, running, investigating, creating, building, designing…
  • Our playscapes should use natural materials and encourage connection and good stewardship of the natural world and the environment.

The faculty then participated in a design challenge. Each pair of teachers was given a bag of six items and asked to :

  • Design something that is representative of our playscape planning guiding principles.
  • Use at least three items in the bag.
  • Complete the challenge in 15 minutes.

Moving forward, the Lower School faculty plans to visit outdoor play spaces in the area to further inform our process. Later in the spring, students will also be involved in the re-visioning and planning for the playground areas surrounding our new building.

Now it’s your turn! Do you have ideas that you would like considered? Have you seen a playground that you think is exemplary that you think should be a model for the Waynflete playscapes? Have you imagined a playground element or structure that your child would love? Share your thoughts now!

Click here to submit your ideas