Boarding School Essential Skills — Tilton School

Essential Skills

At Tilton, we teach five Essential Skills in a boarding school environment that allows our students to demonstrate these skills in areas of Self-Discovery that span our entire program. As a result, they take ownership of their own learning in way that will serve them in college, career, and beyond.

Inquiry builds understanding

Inquiry looks beyond easy formulations of a problem and easy solutions. It seeks out multiple data types, looks at things from multiple angles, and thinks critically about the role bias in the interpretation of facts and the formulation of opinions.

Creation uncovers possibility 

Creation is about generating solutions to address needs and opportunities—through empathy, analysis, ideation, and iteration.

Communication generates meaning 

Communication involves moving an audience toward understanding or action through the variety of media available to us. In addition, communication also engages in active listening to understand the ideas shared by others. 

Mindfulness develops perspective

Mindfulness is the set of intentional practices to develop self-awareness and understand one’s connection to the larger community and environment.

Play fearlessly embraces the new

Play engages the world for curiosity’s sake, for the purpose of trying something new, without fearing the consequences. Play is our word for pure research, for raw experimentation, and for harmless trial and error.

Essential Skill Spotlight: Play

“It’s okay to get dirty, it’s okay to be in the sandbox. As a teacher, what I would want them to take with them is that sense of lifelong learning and playing with the world around you.”

Katherine McCandless P’20, ’24
Dean of Teaching and Learning

Essential skills are a key part of Tilton's Mastery Approach to Boarding School Education

The Mastery Approach represents the very best in curriculum design, and it allows us to unlock the unique learning potential of each Tilton Student.