Children learn best when their needs, skills and interests drive the learning activities. Our responsive instructional approach challenges students to grow intellectually, socially and emotionally within a developmentally appropriate framework.The Little School is a model for child-centered education that responds to individual developmental time tables and learning styles, nurtures the development of the whole child, and preserves and supports children’s natural sense of wonder and curiosity. The work of childhood is to grow. In size, knowledge, confidence, empathy—in every dimension, all the time. Each child brings his or her own individual strengths to that journey and each advances at his or her own pace. Some children are more social, some are early readers; some love to build, some love to sing, but there are seeds of great potential in all of them.Nestled in 12 acres of woods and meadows in Bellevue, The Little School provides a natural setting for our community of students and educators to nurture that potential while exploring the wider world. We don’t sort and measure our students against one another, but provide a safe environment to build upon the inherent strengths of each child and support them as they expand their knowledge, build their skills, and deepen their empathy.Because we are “little,” each student knows and is known by the whole community, and children here learn to develop the interpersonal skills and confidence to advocate for themselves and for others. That commitment to community includes advocacy and care for our surroundings as well. The classroom extends to the outdoors, providing plenty of chances for children to appreciate the beauty and importance of caring for the natural world.Over 50 years ago, Dr. Eleanor Siegl founded The Little School as a place to “take childhood seriously.” She knew how important primary and elementary school are to becoming confident, thoughtful learners prepared for Middle School and, more importantly, the rest of their lives. Today, the tradition of Northwest Progressive education that she pioneered lives on at The Little School, Where Big Futures Begin.