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Outdoor Learning

Our expansive campus is an amazing lab for learning. Students explore the ecosystem of our forest rich with old growth trees; release salmon fry at our lakefront; examine water samples under microscopes; study campus birdlife and gather data from organisms in the organic garden. Learning comes alive when students engage in hands-on educational experiences that go beyond the four walls of the classroom.

And far from having "nature deficit disorder," Villa kids gain the cognitive and physical benefits from regular immersion in our abundant green spaces.

view from campus

Views around our campus are a daily inspiration.

Why Learn Outdoors?

Educational Benefits

  • Standards taught in a meaningful and retainable way
  • Engaging project-based learning
  • Ecological awareness and stewardship of nature

Cognitive Benefits

  • Natural environments engage cognitive function
  • Creativity and problem solving
  • Movement supports learning

Physical Benefits

  • Stimulating the senses
  • Better overall health
  • Fine and gross motor development

The Villa Treehouse

What kid wouldn’t want to go to school in a treehouse? Completed in the summer of 2020, the Villa Treehouse supports our goal to provide a variety of outdoor learning experiences, projects, and activities—no matter what the weather. As the first permitted treehouse in the City of Seattle, our brand new structure has the capacity to hold over 30 students and is accessible by all ages.

Take a Quick Tour!

Outdoor Learning Spotlight: Pollinators

Villa third graders engaged in a three month study of pollination. With our organic garden serving as a classroom, they explored the environmental challenges facing pollinators and how to help them. Students made nesting houses for solitary bees, and planted a garden section with pollinator-beneficial plants.

“Pollinator Day,” was the culmination of the third graders’ learning: a special event for parents, staff, and classmates from other grades. They shared their knowledge through student-created and conducted exhibits, games, and tours—and even created pollinator videos accessed at the event through QR codes placed on garden signs. What a celebration of in-depth learning at its best!

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