Sabot at Stony Point Inspires Learning Outside the Box

Real Estate Agent with Piedmont Real Estate 0225202286

While walking up to the front door of Sabot at Stony Point, my first impression was "Did I happen to find a backup Harry Potter film studio?"  The main building's size and architecture certainly is reminiscent of Hogwarts school.  One teacher in the lobby told me that students sometimes are gently reminded that they actually have work to do there.

Described as a neo-Tudor mixture of English Tudor, Elizabethan and Jacobean style architecture, the main building for this 28-acre estate was once was occupied by the Lewis Griffin Larus family and now is repurposed as a thriving learning epicenter for pre-school through eighth grade students.

Front of Sabot at Stony Point's Main Building

Above is Sabot at Stony Point's main building, once the Larus family home.


Adjacent to the school property is 100 plus-acre Larus Park that was was part of the original estate.  The park is now owned by the City of Richmond and managed through the James River Park System.  Students in Kindergarten through eighth grade work and play in the park at least weekly, said Executive Director Irene Carney, Ph.D.

Sign at park entrance

Sign at park entrance leads to 106 wooded acres open to the public.


"We see this extension of our learning environment into the outdoors as an opportunity to cultivate a relationship with nature and a disposition to both learn from and care for the natural world," she explained.

Dr. Carney spoke with me recently along with Admissions Director Maggie Barrett.  Both gave unique and enthusiastic accounts of their experiences being at Sabot.

"We make learning its own reward," said Carney, who first arrived at Sabot as a parent in 1989.  Teachers and staff help create a school environment that cultivates internal motivation of students, she added.  Certainly, Sabot does help prepare students to become internally motivated starting at a very early age.

"Being flexible, creative thinkers is an asset is for today's workforce---and essential," stated Barrett, who currently is a parent of a student at the school.

Thinking outside the box is a key component of what Sabot at Stony Point respresents.  Instead of having a cookie cutter curriculum, students also have input on the learning process.

Carney noted that the school allows children to be "the owner of this process" and to use a variety of media to explore their questions and represent their ideas.  One example in evidence recently would be using clay modeling to explore the internal organs of a worm that a project team for first graders did to explain their theories and show what they had learned.

Fortunately for the students, teachers are given considerable latitude in finding their own reference books, and some of those are textbooks.  However, the National Science Teachers Association is very helpful to science teachers, for example, to keep up with the latest information.

Teachers gather resources for the students.  "They're beside, rather than in front of, the students in their learning process," said Carney, noting that there are tables but no desks.

Sign at front gate

This sign at front gate incorporates student art along with the graphic design.


"We develop a knowledge network," Carney recalled one first-grade student saying.

Do you think your children could thrive by attending Sabot at Stony Point?  For admissions information, see the official website:, or call (804) 272-1341 for details.

A couple signs right outside school property

Above are a couple admissions registration signs found posted near school property.



Seeking real estate assistance either finding or selling a home that's in an area offering high quality education?  Call me today about getting started!

Posted by

Andrew Payne, Realtor®

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

PenFed Realty

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N. Chesterfield, VA  23235

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