A group of children sitting on the floor in a classroom

Backstage Tours: A Peek into Daily School Life at ROBS

This article first appeared in River Oaks Baptist School’s Summer 2022 Vine & Branch magazine. The Backstage Tour series offered insight into the academic, extracurricular, and spiritual programs at ROBS.

Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall of your child’s classroom? Last fall the School launched a Backstage Tour series designed to give parents this perspective. More than 100 families attended one of the 18 tours offered throughout the winter and spring. The common refrain among attendees: “I had no idea!” The tours not only gave a peek into the classrooms but also lent insight into curriculum design, student wellness initiatives, expanded STEAM programming, spiritual life philosophy, and even lunch. We’ve pulled a few of the highlights from the Lower School and Middle School tours. Take a look!

Lower School

Book talks. Baseball multiplication. Robot tests. Student-created board games. Volcano eruptions. Model car racetracks. KROB broadcasts. Fashion shows(in Spanish). Chapel singalongs. Lower School at ROBS often feels more like a learning adventure park than a school house. And that’s by design. Our master teachers, instructional coaches, counselors, athletic coaches, and administrators have purposefully crafted a program that gives students choice and freedom within an advanced curricular model. Students become the authors of their choose-your-own-adventure learning story. Because when kids are engaged, the learning sticks.

A group of children playing on a playground at River Oaks Baptist School

Student wellness is a priority. A licensed psychologist meets with students individually and in small groups to address social-emotional needs, and she conducts monthly character lessons based on the biblical fruit of the spirit for every Lower School classroom. The office of student support also includes two dedicated instructional coaches who help teachers differentiate lessons for neurodiverse learners as well as a team of learning and reading specialists.

Character lessons, morning devotionals, read-alouds, and morning meetings infuse Christ into the daily fabric of school life, which is reinforced through weekly chapel and Bible class. The Bible curriculum follows the religious calendar, with a focus on the Old Testament in the fall leading up to the birth of Jesus in December. Spring is all about the New Testament and the awesome works of Christ on earth, culminating in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise of hope.

The Lower School is growing! By the 2024-25 school year, all Lower School grades (K-4) will have five classes. More students mean more teachers, including special areas. The Lower School added theatre and makerspace to the special area rotation last year, for a full complement of fine arts and STEAM programming.

Lower School Core Subjects

Language Arts | Math | Science | Social Studies

Lower School Special Area Subjects

Art | Bible | Digital Lab | Library | Makerspace | Music | Spanish | THeatre

Middle School

The learning adventure course gets bigger and faster in Middle School. The school day experience—redesigned in 2020 to accommodate vast programmatic enhancements—gives students exposure to new subjects for longer periods of time. As the students grow each year, so do their opportunities—with nearly 30 elective options by the time they get to seventh grade. The schedule is complicated, but the goal is simple: to grow adolescents into the young men and women God made them to be.

Fifth and sixth graders are enrolled in an exploratory rotation of elective courses. Exposure to visual art, makerspace, theatre, and beginning strings and choir helps our students determine in which areas they want to grow during their later middle school years. Seventh and eighth grade students choose from nearly 30 elective options which range from orchestra ensemble and musical theatre to speech and debate, ceramics, and coding and robotics. Opportunities abound for students to find their voice and follow their passion.

Beginning in sixth grade, students can compete in their choice of 10+ sports against schools in the Houston Junior Preparatory Conference. At least one participatory sport is offered each season so all students who wish to join a team may do so.

A group of young students playing musical instruments at River Oaks Baptist School
A group of students singing on stage at River Oaks Baptist School

Beyond Bible class and chapel, Middle School students meet weekly with their advisories where they visit with peers and a faculty leader. Advisory lessons combine social-emotional support with the Christian principles that undergird a ROBS education. Our seventh and eighth-grade students a real so encouraged to take on faith-based leadership opportunities, like Chapel Worship Team and KROB.

A group of children sitting at desks and the teacher explaining to them in a classroom

Mind, Brain & Education science research (MBE) is the foundation of the learning program in Middle School. MBE—a transdisciplinary field that bridges neuroscience, psychology, and education—drives instruction, assessment, and the learning environment for our middle schoolers. With all Middle School faculty trained in MBE teaching and learning practices, students not only maximize content knowledge but also improve skills in executive functions like planning, self-monitoring, working memory, time management, and organization.

The newly adopted schedule is an example of MBE in practice. Gone are the days of dreading first-period English every morning. The “waterfall” block schedule means students experience their subjects at different times each day, resulting in improved performance across the board.

Our signature high school counseling program guides families throughout the application process. From personalized counseling sessions and mock admission interviews to weekly emails with important reminders and upcoming deadlines, a dedicated counselor equips students and parents to tackle the process with confidence and, dare we say, excitement.

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