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The Self-Science curriculum is designed to develop the self-awareness and interpersonal skills necessary to be successful in a school setting and beyond. This weekly class focuses on giving students the tools needed to build a strong sense of self and effective communication skills. Students develop a breadth of coping strategies for dealing with stress, peer pressure, conflicts, and decision-making. By celebrating diversity, children learn to have a greater understanding of and appreciation for others.

In the earliest grades, students explore many concepts as they listen to stories and connect them to their own experiences through follow up activities and projects. Older elementary students engage in whole group discussion, reflecting on the topic at hand and finding real connections within their own lives and relationships. Middle School students continue delve into topics through reflection, discussion, and project work, connecting their growing self-knowledge to their academic lives, as they learn what they need in order to be balanced, successful, and inspired.

While the Self Science curriculum is carefully planned and scaffolded to meet the ongoing developmental needs of K-8 students, it also allows time and space for addressing shared issues of importance that arise for students within a classroom or grade.

Highlights of the program include:


  • » Learn value of self and others
  • » Celebrate differences
  • » Build and nurture friendships
  • » Identify and manage feelings
  • » Work cooperatively
  • » Resolve conflicts through communication

First Grade

  • » Explore identity
  • » Role-play conflict resolution strategies
  • » Develop and practice empathy
  • » Value mistakes as learning opportunities
  • » Build resilience

Second Grade

  • » Identify unique talents and traits
  • » Build depth of character
  • » Show respect through words and actions
  • » Manage the natural “ups and downs” of friendships
  • » Practice perseverance
  • » Set future goals

Third Grade

  • » Recognize and respect emotions in others
  • » Explore personal preferences and values
  • » Build community through group discussions and challenges
  • » Refine and extend conflict resolution strategies
  • » Strengthen listening and communication skills

Fourth Grade

  • » Create representations of self and family
  • » Identify positive and negative elements of relationships
  • » Respect the power of words
  • » Appreciate personal responsibilities to community
  • » Navigate transition and change

Fifth Grade

  • » Demonstrate situational intelligence
  • » Practice self-advocacy and personal responsibility
  • » Develop strategies for time and stress management (organization, prioritization)
  • » Problem-solve issues related to peer pressure, bullying, conflict resolution
  • » Identify and nurture positive friendships

Sixth Grade

  • » Develop skills and strategies for group collaboration
  • » Explore perspective, memory and executive functioning skills
  • » Reflect on intra and interpersonal relationships
  • » Explore fixed vs. growth mindset

Seventh Grade

  • » Practice active engagement and communication
  • » Explore issues related to self-esteem (peer pressure, popularity)
  • » Examine issues of adolescence (sexuality, drug/alcohol awareness)
  • » Develop self-advocacy and refusal skills
  • » Build a healthy lifestyle (eating, exercising and balance)

Eighth Grade

  • » Explore concepts and skills related to leadership
  • » Develop personal responsibility and high expectations
  • » Refine verbal and nonverbal communication skills
  • » Examine interpersonal relationships (acceptance, appreciation of differences)
  • » Prepare for life after Keys

Keys School - Lower Campus · 2890 Middlefield Road · Palo Alto, CA · 94306
Keys School - Middle Campus · 3981 El Camino Real · Palo Alto, CA · 94306

Phone: 650-328-1711