the best education for gifted & TalentedAcademics
A Sound Foundation
Children are fascinated by the world around them, constantly wanting to know the why and how of everything. Using this natural curiosity, science is taught from a hands-on, inquiry and discovery approach and is thematically enriched in all curricular areas and experience. Field trips enhance the overall curriculum, as do special presentations from the Science Center staff. Students have an opportunity to enjoy the unique resources located at the Science Center. These include telescopes, microscopes, the Alan L. Bean Hypospherium (the largest planetarium in Connecticut), meteorology lab, HyperMedia Library, Electronic Music lab and nature trails. The Talcott Mountain Academy provides a nurturing environment for young, gifted children where they can be challenged to take full advantage of their talents and abilities.
You taught my children to expect more from education… you taught them to ask questions and research new ideas. You taught them that they could have friends that understood them. The teachers, staff and families at Talcott were a very important part of my family for the past four years. I know that we are better for our journey with you.
Technology in the Classroom
The T in STEM means technology. It’s a little about the “hi-tech” hardware, but mostly how it’s used and how it inspires young learners to create new solutions. So yes, you’ll see TMA students mastering 3-D printers, robots, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, sensors and drones. What really happens to make it all work is the applications – creating new learning spaces with open source devices and apps, inventing devices that can help the lives of those with challenges and special needs, helping the world see new ideas through data and visualizations, and learning that no problem is too big to try and tackle. Technology and creativity are twin partners in our future, and Talcott has the track record of inventors and leaders to get us there.
At both the elementary and middle school level, the curriculum reflects the philosophy that all subjects are interconnected and are presented in an interdisciplinary approach rather than as isolated subject specific material. A sound foundation, including language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, foreign languages, music and visual arts is presented through developmentally appropriate activities.
From Shakespeare to Socrates, Lincoln to Leonardo (da Vinci, of course), Talcott students dive deep into all aspects of humanities.
- LANGUAGE ARTS: Students read and analyze literature and learn about composition and grammar. (Many of our students love to read! It’s not uncommon to find them absorbed in their favorite book at recess, in study hall or on the bus.) “Think more deeply” is the goal in our middle school language arts. There is an emphasis on critical thinking to enhance close-reading skills for high-level comprehension and more effective written expression. The writing process is emphasized from brainstorming and creating an outline to revisions and the final draft. Real-world connections help the students engage with the classics, and creative writing is an important and popular part of the curriculum.
- FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Students in Grades K-5 learn Spanish, and grade 6-8 can continue Spanish or learn Latin, German French or Italian online with Rosetta Stone.
- SOCIAL STUDIES: Students explore American history, world history, world cultures, civics and living history. They also learn about Geography and test their knowledge with their peers at Talcott and throughout Connecticut by competing in GeoBee, sponsored by the National Geographic Society.
Science & Mathematics
Students build rockets and robots, explore the universe, investigate animals, propagate plants and so much more! Inquiry-based, hands-on instruction brings the sciences to life.
- MATHEMATICS: From elementary math to calculus, students learn based on their capabilities, not their grade level. We take a traditional approach using text books and manipulatives. We use curriculum compacting so that students can accelerate.
- LIFE SCIENCE: Learning is never confined to the classroom! Areas of study include biology, chronobiology, ecology, marine biology, anatomy & physiology
- EARTH & SPACE: Astronomy, meteorology and geology come to life for students thanks to the professional equipment available through the Talcott Mountain Science Center, including an on-site weather station, planetarium, astronomical observatories, telescopes. Our mountaintop location is the perfect place for weather and nighttime observing, or learning about Connecticut’s peaks and valleys.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCE: Students learn about chemistry, physics and engineering by hypothesizing, experimenting and analyzing results. Whether they’re measuring, mixing, building or breaking, Talcott students learn by doing.
Decision making, perseverance, imagination, motor-skills, focus and accountability–these are just a few of the benefits of integrating the arts into education. At all grade levels, students participate in music, studio and performing arts.
- STUDIO ARTS: Our students love to get creative…and we emphasize the ‘A’ in STEAM with art theory, art history, art appreciation, drawing, painting, sculpture, textiles, graphic and 3D design.
- MUSIC: From music theory and composition to performance, students of all ages participate in music. All students learn strings and participate in singing. Talcott also encourages students who have learned an instrument at home contribute their talents to our musical performances.
- DRAMATIC ARTS: Lights, camera, ACTION! Each year, Talcott students combine their unique talents to present a grand-scale musical in our planetarium! In addition to acting and musical performances, students are also responsible for lighting, costumes and scenery. It’s a perfect way for the entire school to celebrate the end of the school year!
Beyond the Classroom
Learning extends beyond the classroom. It is our goal to help students develop a passion for learning that reaches into all facets of their life. This is why we encourage students to try new things and explore the unknown. Enrichment programs, field trips and our visiting professionals allow them to spread their wings and try new things in a comfortable, safe and nurturing environment.
In addition to our standard curriculum, students have the unique opportunity to explore subject areas of interest through Talcott’s enrichment program.
Areas of focus differ each semester, but have recently included hydroponics, creative writing, publishing, web design, yearbook, amateur radio, dramatic arts, math theory, orchestra and more.
Experiences outside of the classroom are integral to hands-on learning. Students have visited professional sites including bioengineering labs, aerospace manufacturers and hydroponic greenhouses. Other fun, but educational, experiences include trips to the Bushnell, whale watching, marine life exploration at Hammonasset, and Ellis Island, NY.
The highlight for most upper-suite students is their week-long trip to Herkimer, NY to learn about geology. Students enjoy getting their hands dirty digging for fossils and mining for Herkimer diamonds.
Students often question how their classroom learning applies to ‘real life’. Our visiting professionals show them!
Through in-classroom visits and special evening presentations through the Talcott Mountain Science Center’s On the Shoulders of Giants series, Talcott alumni and other visiting professionals give students a glimpse into their chosen careers… and the road that lead them there.
These visiting professionals often make connections with students who have exceptional interest in their fields, with many providing counsel or serving as mentors for student projects.
Awards & Achievements
Students from Talcott Mountain Academy showcase their knowledge and talents in science, math, history, writing, the arts and more throughout the year at numerous local, regional and national competitions. They consistently take top awards at the following competitions:
- Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair
- Connecticut Invention Convention
- Connecticut History Day
- National Geographic Geography Bee
- Connecticut Student Writers Contest
- Inspiration to Innovation Challenge
- Prudential Spirit of Community Award
- FIRST LEGO League
- Trinity College Firefighting Home Robot Competition