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High school teacher and student talking in the quad

Core Skills

Representing a confluence of social, emotional, and academic learning, the Core Skills reflect Ensworth’s commitment to educating the whole child and preparing students for success that extends beyond test scores and grade point averages. 

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  • Express ideas articulately, clearly, and respectfully 
  • Listen receptively without imposing assumptions 
  • Discern false assumptions 
  • Provide information concisely and effectively across a variety of modes such as auditory, written, kinesthetic and visual imagery 
  • Use disagreement in the search for truth 
  • Support or justify a position with evidence 
  • Contribute in a manner that moves previous ideas forward 


  • Be alert to the achievements and contributions of others 
  • Be alert to spotting and capitalizing on the unexpected 
  • Watch for patterns 
  • Design and employ methods of collecting and recording evidence 
  • Practice the art of awareness of one’s self and surroundings 
Ensworth student in art class painting with teacher
Ensworth student at the Harkness table


  • Discern areas that could benefit from further scrutiny 
  • Ask questions without expecting certain answers 
  • Employ questions in the search for truth 
  • Investigate diverse perspectives 
  • Learn to compose effective questions 

Apply Knowledge

  • Apply skills and knowledge to new contexts 
  • Apply deduction (apply general rules to specific instances) 
  • Exercise independence of thought rather than mimicry 
  • Be open to the possibility of more than one correct approach 
  • Translate intellectual concepts to practical applications 
  • Demonstrate resourcefulness 
Ensworth middle school students in art class
Ensworth teacher instructing a class in Chinese


  • Propose possible solutions to questions 
  • Apply induction (extrapolate patterns to general rules) 
  • Enhance creativity 
  • Develop assertions that can be examined using objective criteria 
  • Practice language that infers rather than assumes, i.e. “It seems that…” 


  • Exercise self-reliance in spotting errors and correcting them 
  • Assess the validity of arguments or solutions, perhaps by using different evaluative methods 
  • Determine the relevance and value of sources 
  • Examine one’s own conclusions through the lens of another 
  • Analyze and interpret empirical data comprehensively 
Two students and teacher talking and smiling
Teacher and student in class


  • Marry one’s own talents, skills, and knowledge with the talents of others within a group 
  • Enhance community culture by supporting others’ achievement regardless of one’s own achievement 
  • Work as a group to create and obtain goals that would not be individually achievable 
  • Build an inclusive conversation with all group members