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Curriculum & Philosophy


Challenging academics & language learning tailored to your child’s unique potential


Your child spends a full day each weekexploring nature off-site



Social-emotional learning




Our students will be the movers and shakers in their dynamic, modern world. We ​prepare them to solve 21st century problems by coaching them to recognize and leverage their unique strengths. 

We believe intelligence goes far beyond the three R's (Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic) of past decades. We take a global view of your child that embraces her as a unique individual capable of developing multiple types of intelligences. We educate the whole child, striving for her holistic emotional, social and cognitive development. This synergy allows your child to feel simultaneously supported, safe and challenged.

The result? Children who soar.


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"I came to Terra Marin because I wanted a challenge in math. At Terra Marin they give me math just at my level!"


- Eliza, 4th grade

"This week we celebrated the Dragon Boat Festival. We ate tang yuan and performed a song about the festival in Mandarin."

- Mariana, 2nd grade


"At Terra Marin you get to explore different things, and you're not just stuck in a room learning from a book. For science, if we have a question about something, Mike (the science teacher) will get an example and show it to us, and we actually get to see it, flip it around, look at it, and we get to explore it."

- Sara, 8th grade

"The Harkness Method is fun. You can't blend into the background. I used to not raise my hand or participate at my previous school. Here I have to participate, and I like that. You wait for the other person to be done talking, and then you talk."

- Noah, 7th grade

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"Yesterday at the beach we got to carve sticks with knives, and we got to climb cliffs. It felt a little bit dangerous because I hadn't done it before. I liked it because it was exciting." 

- Nathaniel, 7th grade


"The thing I like about this school is the three recesses!"

- Aaron, 1st grade

Earth Education

Students spend a full day each week outdoors off-site, exploring Marin and learning from our world's greatest teacher - nature.

Led by a highly trained Earth Education specialist, children learn to track animals, find their way back to base-camp blindfolded, and grind acorns into flour to make food. They learn ancestral skills and crafts.

Nature play needs to be a fundamental part of every childhood. Earth education allows students unstructured time in a structured environment. This meaningful connection with nature grounds children, gives them a sense of place and belonging, and makes them more effective learners who are prepared to embrace challenges and soar academically.

The results are proven: Spending time in nature boosts academic performance, focus, engagement and love of learning.

Learn more about our acclaimed earth education program

An Indoor-Outdoor Campus

Our campus is home to beautiful and expansive playgrounds, gardens, sports fields, foothills and horses. Students enjoy playtime outdoors at frequent intervals throughout the day to prepare their minds for learning.


Studies show that "green time" significantly lowers stress, increases focus and creates curious learners who are more likely to succeed academically, socially and emotionally.

Teachers and students can often be found outside around campus and the lovely surrounding neighborhood, gathering scientific samples, studying insects, building machines with power tools, or taking a walk to the local market to calculate how much water is used in the production of various food items.



“We believe our teachers’ job is to find the gift in each child, draw it out and nurture it so it can be shared with others."


- Shauna Sullivan,

Assistant Head of School


"The teachers are there for you."


- Noah, 5th grade

Social-Emotional Learning

Terra Marin’s robust social-emotional learning (SEL) program sets your child up for lifelong success in his interactions with peers, family, community and himself.


Children need to receive instruction in social-emotional competence, which is just as critical to their success as any academic subject. Our SEL program helps students develop skills in conflict resolution, self-regulation, responsible decision-making, and positive relationship-building. 

We fully support your child, both emotionally and academically, as he realizes his individual potential. We believe each child has his own marvelous "superpowers," and that it is our fundamental responsibility as educators to help develop these special gifts. On the flip side, you can count on us to support and bolster your child's individual needs.

In addition, small class sizes (max of 12:1) are a cornerstone of our educational philosophy. Our small classes contribute, by design, to an intimate environment where your child is fully known, supported and valued. In this environment, our teachers are able to meet your child at his edge, and help him cultivate the courage to push through his edges to new levels of self-discovery.

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“I love interacting with all ages and teaching them what I know. I have become friends with people of all ages that I wouldn’t otherwise have become friends with, and now I get to enjoy having them as such close friends.”


- Edie, 8th grade

Cross-grade Mentoring

Terra Marin classes are intentionally mixed-age. Our multi-grade classrooms create a family of learners who support and care for one another.

Older children learn to mentor and take on leadership roles. Younger children greatly benefit from the modeling provided by their older cohorts.

In this environment, where students enjoy a sense of safe belonging without judgment, they come to deeply feel that anything is possible.

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