We’ve had a marvelous fall at Heronfield, filled with exciting new developments, interesting visitors, and favorite traditions:

The new iStudio: In September, we opened a new space devoted to the intersection of technology, engineering, and fine arts (TEA). Working in studio groups, students are using tools like Photoshop and SketchUp to respond to authentic, relevant challenges, such as the design for the athletic spaces of the new Field House. We are grateful to the work of the TEA faculty: Jeff Demers and Jo Slavitz. Click here for photos.

The new Field House: In October, we began the renovation of a former 20,000 square foot equestrian arena into an indoor athletic facility. Construction teams are making a rapid transition from dark spaces to light, from dirt floor to sport courts, and from barely used to a bustling PE and after-school center. We are grateful to the Heronfield Board of Trustees, especially the Chair of our Building and Grounds Committee, David Netishen.

Clubs: Each Friday afternoon, students participate in Clubs, a six-week enrichment block. Faculty-led and inspired, Clubs are a wonderful way for students to socialize between grades and work together. Recent club offerings include: ceramics, sewing, robotics, coding, Heronfield Herald (newspaper), skateboarding, creative writing, 9-square and “big” outdoor games, microwave-dining, and Quiz Bowl! We are grateful to the entire faculty for their energy and enthusiasm!

Presidential Speaker Series: Heronfield recently hosted presidential candidate Bill Weld on campus for afternoon and evening programs. Our students asked Governor Weld important questions about his stance on trade with China, climate change, fiscal responsibility, and even “advice you would give your middle-grade self.” We are grateful to Humanities instructor, Don Clark, for inviting all the presidential candidates to campus. We hope for more visits! Click here for photos. 

PBS BYKids filmmaker: Holly Carter, the producer of the PBS documentaries, BYKids, worked with our students for two days in October. Holly began with a screening of the film, Fire in Our Hearts, during an afternoon Community Meeting. That evening, Ms. Carter screened another documentary, I Could Tell You ‘Bout my Life, at Phillips Exeter Academy. The following day, Ms. Carter worked in the iStudio with Mr. Demers and helped students tell their own stories. We are grateful to the Yakola family for sponsoring this event. Click here for photos. 

Naturally Curious: Mary Holland, the author of numerous children’s books and the award winning Naturally Curious Month by Month, and Naturally Curious Day by Day charmed students with her presentation of the teeming life they can find in New England. Ms. Holland brought a collection of skeletons, scat, and skins for students to enjoy. Another lively Q and A ensued with students wondering about everything what they might find! Click here for photos. 

Geology Field Trip: The 8th grade science class recently took an excursion to observe geologic formations in their own backyard. At Spruce Hole Bog in Durham they discussed the Laurentide glacier, which moved across New England 10,000 years ago and stood nearly a mile tall. A piece of this glacier calved during melting and displaced sand and rock, creating the kettlehole and the bog ecosystem found there now. In Newmarket they observed the mill buildings, constructed in the 1820s using rocks quarried from the area. These buildings show characteristic granite and diorite found all over New Hampshire, but also metamorphic phyllite from the Kittery Formation, which runs just east of town. Finally, they traveled out to the shores of Great Bay at Adams Point to compare these two major rock types, sketching and describing the formations they saw, drawing on their learning from the classroom and lab. Parent and geologist John Pasquale helped design and lead this field trip, and shared his knowledge and experience with the students. Click here for photos.

Traditions: Throughout the fall, students enjoyed the Heronfield traditions they love: a whole-school trip to Merrowvista, the Sixth Grade Game Night, the Halloween dance, a strong cross-country season, the Beach Clean-up, and field trips to the Independence Museum and to explore local geology. We are grateful to Ron King, Hannah Clark, Arin Jordan, Meggie Donovan, Kendall Berton, Kirsten Johnson, and Sarah Asbell for their leadership! Click here for photos.