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About The School

Guiding Principles for Learning

While each class at the Children's School has its own distinction, there are at least five principles that are consistent from the youngest group of children to the oldest. These principles are most influenced by the theories of educational practice that are based on an understanding of child development.

  1. How Children Learn

    Children learn best from self-initiated activity with concrete objects. They build on previous knowledge through repeated experiences. Through social interactions with peers, children learn to collaborate, cooperate and to understand another point of view. Children who are active in their own learning process make sense of the world for themselves and construct their own ideas. By having choices and making decisions, children learn to be in control of their own learning and to be independent thinkers. Children need to be presented with a variety of materials, strategies and approaches because not every child learns the same way.

  2. How Curriculum Develops

    Curriculum in our program develops through an interactive process between the child, teacher and the environment. In each group there is a balance between teacher-planned activities and those activities that emerge from the children's interests, abilities, and needs. There is a balance between individual, small group and large group experiences. Curriculum is based on inquiry, problem solving, and discovery and application of key issues and concepts. Curriculum points to connections within and across disciplines characterized by project-based authentic learning, which allows for more in-depth study of topics. We strive to have all children's learning be integrated, active and meaningful.

    Our teachers are co-facilitators of learning. They act as mentor–companions...observing, reflecting, collaborating, adapting, intervening, scaffolding, problem-solving, and building upon each child's questions or ideas, as well as assessing the level and interest of each child in order to make informed decisions. Assessment of learning is both a process and a tool to improve instruction and document children's growth.

  3. Creation Of Partnerships With Family

    The family is an essential part of our community and crucial to our genuine understanding and appreciation of each child. We strive to build home-school partnerships that are collaborative, trusting, and respectful. Parents and staff regularly communicate through frequent interactions, phone conversations, open houses, parent conferences, parent workshops, written reports, school gatherings, home-visits, and parent participation. Getting to know the values and cultures within families helps nurture the home-school relationship and contributes to the child's self-esteem. Having parents participate in the goal-setting process is an important part of developing curriculum for the individual child.

  4. Importance Of The Individual And The Community

    Each child is unique. The curriculum focuses on supporting the growth of the whole child, including social-emotional, language, cognitive, and physical development. We believe that children go through stages of development, which are marked by general characteristics, but we also recognize the range of individual and cultural variation. Yet each individual child is also a member of a community that includes the family, the classroom, the school and the world at large. Building this sense of community takes conscious planning and ongoing effort. Our goal is to make each child feel a valued member of the community and to develop a sense of empathy and caring for others.

  5. Respects and Appreciation of Differences

    Our school perspective involves creating a classroom and school environment which respects and supports all dimensions of human differences, including cultural, linguistic, ability, learning style, ethnicity, family culture, gender, age, and socio-economic differences. In curriculum this perspective is attained by using materials that support diversity and integrate similarities and differences into the daily life of the classroom. We also adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of all learners, differentiating instruction for the members of the group. Activities have multiple entry points where children can be working on the same activity but with different materials, goals and objectives. The school has an anti-bias education stance.

 

 
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