Gunnery School review by Trinity College student. The Gunnery provides strong courses in both the humanities and science and math. There are a number of elective courses in the humanities, and students can take AP science and math courses. The general atmosphere of the student body is collegial, although students in the upper-level courses (such as AP courses) can be more competitive than those in college level courses. The school's teaching philosophy was based primarily on discussions with peers, although certain courses focused more on lecture based learning than others. For example, a philosophy class I took was primarily discussion based, but the AP US History class I took was more lecture based. That said, the teachers made sure students were given ample opportunities to voice their opinions regardless of the structure of the class. In general, my discussion based courses prepared me for my liberal arts college education. Because my teachers at The Gunnery challenged me and forced me to defend my ideas and opinions, I was prepared to do the same at the college level. This was especially helpful in my seminar-based courses that I took in college, where the Professor would push students to defend their reasoning and arguments.
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The Gunnery is a close community. Like similar institutions, it has its different cliques but this does not take away from the sense of community or camaraderie between the students. Most students seem to come from upper-middle to upper class backgrounds, but in general are not entitled and do not see their wealth as a right but rather a privilege that has afforded them access to a great college preparatory education. The community of Washington, CT is a mix of working class and middle class full-time residents, and the wealthier residents from NYC who have second homes in the town. Discipline seemed rigid at the time, but in retrospect seems appropriate. Housing is adequate (although not amazing), and the dining options are alright. There are a few nearby restaurants that deliver, so it's good to get the number for those places early on. Houseparents are always there to support you and (in general) are basically available 24/7.
The Gunnery did a great job of balancing student life between extracurricular activities and academics. Students were required to participate in the extracurricular program after classes, and had to do a sport, art, or theater option. Students spend about 2-3 hours after classes each day in these activities, and come out as well-rounded individuals who know how to balance academics with other activities. Community service did not play a large role, but this is probably due to the fact that The Gunnery (and, more largely, Washington CT) is quite isolated. However, this is an area that the school could improve upon.