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Signature Programs

The Wardlaw+Hartridge School has a variety of programs that set us apart. Our Signature Programs are unique to W+H and are essential to preparing students to lead and succeed in a world of global interconnection. These programs, which span from Early Childhood through to the Upper School, provide opportunities for students to emerge as pioneering thinkers by engaging in additional programming that highlights our core values of integrity, opportunity, support, diversity, community, and sustainability.


The Wardlaw+Hartridge Global Scholars Program (GSP) is designed for students in the Upper School who are interested in learning about current international challenges while developing positive dispositions toward global stewardship.  Students can elect to enroll in this program of study at the end of Ninth Grade. This program, unique to our school, is designed to engage students in the world of global interconnection of which they are a crucial part. Students who complete this intensive program of study will earn an endorsement on their Wardlaw+Hartridge diploma after completing requirements in each of the following strands: 

Cross-Cultural Experience, Service Learning, Specialized Global Coursework, Senior Research Seminar Capstone, World Language Competency, Local Community Participation and the Senior Spotlight.

Students are also given the opportunity and expected to attend special events such as speaking engagements and field trips dedicated to the GSP.  



The mission of our school is to prepare students to lead and succeed in a world of global interconnection. All three divisions of the school embrace the global focus of our work and intentionally focus on widening the lens through which our students view the world around them. Upper School students engage in global experiences such as the Peru Service Learning trip and the El Paso, Texas Border Immersion Program as a part of our partnership with the World Leadership School. In the Middle and Lower Schools, the curriculum is augmented to ensure that students not only understand global issues such as climate change and its effect on endangered species, but to also have the tools to address those challenges. Education in a global age requires our faculty to teach students today with a focus on what they might need tomorrow. Partnerships and programs of travel, both domestic and international, provide the vehicles for our students to know themselves and know each other through active engagement with differing cultures, religions, traditions and histories, educating Wardlaw+Hartridge students in the richness our world offers.



Throughout their years at W+H, students have classes, activities and courses designed to support the social-emotional growth in their development. The overall well-being of a student has a direct correlation with academic success. Our Lower School faculty uses the Responsive Classroom Approach, an evidence based-framework to teaching and social-emotional learning, which focuses on engaging academics, a positive classroom community, effective management, and developmental awareness. Middle Schoolers focus on the intentional development of so-called soft skills, such as teamwork and creativity, to understand how their physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being are interrelated. Our Health Program spans the divisions and provides academic courses through which students learn to understand and manage their emotions, develop and accomplish personal goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible, healthy choices.


Service learning is a cornerstone of the Wardlaw+Hartridge program. It further supports our mission “to prepare students to lead and succeed in a world of global interconnection” by cultivating a sense of civic engagement and responsibility for one another. The Service Learning Program allows students to engage in active service locally and across the world through myriad activities large and small. A feature of this program is learning about the causes and consequences of actions that precipitate a need. Lower School students hold collections for children of their age with items such as clothing and school supplies to allow them to develop understanding and empathy for others.  Middle School students learn about food insecurity and the causes of poverty in their work at a nearby food bank. The Wardlaw+Hartridge Upper School Service Learning Program involves both local and travel initiatives.  Students engaged in these programs take part in pre, ongoing, and post learning activities to help further develop their learning, engagement, and connection to their experience and the experiences of those they serve. 


The Wardlaw+Hartridge Upper School holds a Biennial Symposium for its students and faculty to focus, listen and learn about a topic of cultural and global significance. The Upper School Symposium was first established in 2013 with an event focused on the issue of human trafficking. Since its inception, a committee of students and faculty come together to craft and present a day-long symposium centered around a global issue. To be fully prepared for the event, the topic is chosen two years in advance. There are many vehicles of preparation for both faculty and students, and often outside facilitators of conversation, experts in the field, and workshops are brought in to provide the community with a full portfolio of resources leading up to the Spring event. Planning includes pre-symposium advisory activities, professional development for faculty and staff, and developing an appropriate, engaging learning platform for students and faculty alike. On the day of the Symposium, there are often keynote speakers and small group breakout sessions. We aim to equip our community with the tools for informed, productive dialogue with the intention being this event leads to enlightened perspective and global action.



Year-long electives enhance and enrich our program, with classes such as STEM Challenge, Screenwriting and Filmmaking, Debate, Chess, Robotics, and Art Appreciation. Each student in the Middle School is encouraged to explore and develop individual interests and passions. Our elective program is structured to introduce students to an array of co-curricular topics and activities. Elective options may vary from year-to-year and students are invited to nominate new electives based on their own ideas. This program allows students in the Middle School to take part in academic pursuits in mixed grade groupings, providing them with diverse sets of peer groups. Courses can vary from year to year, with new electives added and existing electives updated as necessary.  Some electives such as Robotics and NAQT (National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LCC) provide students with opportunities to apply their new knowledge in a competitive environment. Other electives such as our partnership with Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts, offers after school instrument lessons and creative movement (dance) classes taught by professional artists to further creative pursuits.



The Wardlaw+Hartridge Capstone program is designed as an extended, interdisciplinary project engaging students in addressing real-world problems and answering complex questions in the final year of each division in the school. In the Fifth Grade, students are introduced to essential questions of a global significance to anchor their research and work throughout the school year. Essential questions introduce students to the complexity of problems for which there are no easy answers. In the Middle School, Eighth Grade students take the essential question and put it into practice with an action-oriented element of their work. The Wardlaw+Hartridge Twelfth Grade Capstone Research Seminar serves as a culminating experience for students completing the Global Scholars Program (GSP), an introduction to the original scholarly research process for interested seniors outside of the GSP program, and the final piece of work in which students work with a published scholar to design and conduct original research on issues of global relevance, key to the mission and values of our school.

READ MORE ABOUT THE CLASS of 2021 presentations


The Early Childhood Enrichment Program offers after school enrichment classes exclusively for students in Pre-Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten, and Kindergarten.  Children of all ages learn best through activities that spark their natural curiosity and are physically active. Beyond the academic day, enrichment opportunities that introduce new skills or experiences will provide the youngest learners with more opportunities to be comfortable to learn and try new things. Classes are paired intentionally, as a variety of activities for growing students will encourage them to stretch their cognitive, physical, and creative abilities.  These fee-based classes run on a seasonal basis and are held Monday-Friday with the aim to provide high-quality and convenient after school classes designed specifically for our youngest students. Students enrolled in the program are registered for two classes for the season: one physically engaging and one cognitively engaging. Classes change by season and are taught by both Wardlaw+Hartridge faculty and vetted instructors who specialize in the content provided.


The Wardlaw+Hartridge School Speech Program is designed to help students build confidence in their public speaking skills while exploring topics of importance to the students. Beginning in the Lower School, Third and Fourth Grade students choose topics connected to their Social Studies work. In the third trimester with the guidance and assistance of their classroom teachers, students research, write and memorize a speech to deliver in front of their peers and other invited guests. Each year, students in Grades Six, Seven, and Eight work on an interdisciplinary research project, using humanities research and writing skills to craft an academic research paper, then shift the content into an engaging and informative speech. In the Upper School, every Senior is required to plan and deliver a three- to five-minute speech. Each student receives individual assistance with topic selection and organization of material, as well as coaching in the delivery of the speech from a faculty advisor. These speeches are given during Morning Meeting in our Performing Arts Center throughout the year. Family and friends are welcome to come and hear these inspiring speeches as reflective, revelatory personal expression.


The Peer Leadership Program at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School has a long-standing tradition of supporting Freshmen as they become integrated into their new environment in the Upper School community, while simultaneously developing and testing the leadership skills of the selected Senior Peer Leaders. Peer Leadership is a sought-after, highly regarded position amongst students and faculty alike. Peer Leaders are chosen based upon their demonstrated ability to lead a group and their commitment to respect, confidentiality, and trust. Together with their advisors, the Senior Peer Leaders practice communication skills, develop a greater appreciation for individual differences, and learn problem-solving skills that they can apply to other life situations. This process begins with a formal application at the end of the Junior Year, indicating interest in the program, and, with the support of a recommendation input process from both faculty and past Senior Peer Leaders, a group of ten to twelve students are chosen as peer leaders for the following school year. Peer Leadership facilitates the building of the caring, safe learning community of the Upper School, creating a healthy social climate for students to feel they are able to discuss issues pertinent to their lives.


The INDIE Film Festival is a film competition for Upper School Students, hosted by The Wardlaw-Hartridge School. The INDIE began in 2014 and is held annually.  The intention of the INDIE is to raise awareness regarding current global issues.  Since the debut year, our student filmmakers have used the INDIE to express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions with regard to a global issue or event about which they are passionate. Our goal at Wardlaw+Hartridge is to provide a variety of outlets for student creativity.  The INDIE Film Festival allows students to create their own film as individuals or in small groups.  These productions are created by students.  Our Upper Schoolers brainstorm, write, storyboard, cast, direct and edit each film.  The depth, content and sophistication of our films are exceptional.  There is a theme for every year which guides our young filmmakers in their creative process.  Recent themes include “Who Am I?” and “Proximity.”   “Attending the INDIE, I am able to see the world through the lens of my classmates and friends, thus, gaining a new perspective on issues we face as a community.”