Approaches to Teaching
Relationships are paramount. Teachers, students, and parents are partners in education. We provide a secure learning environment in which students are valued and respected. Parents are informed, involved, and welcomed as partners with a clear role to play in supporting the school and their child’s education. Our teachers create educational environments that encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning. Resources and support are provided so each student can become involved in inquiry based learning and use tools and strategies that best fit the student’s development. Teachers are aware of the needs and interests of individual students and the cultural and social contexts in which they live and learn. Teachers facilitate connections between the student’s prior knowledge and the knowledge available through new experiences. Opportunities for student inquiries occur regularly as teachers ask carefully thought-out, open-ended questions, and encourage students to ask questions of each other, as well as of the teacher.
Staff and students are encouraged to identify problems and seek solutions in the pursuit of continuous improvement towards common goals. Within this setting, each classroom operates as a microcosm of the larger institution. The classroom itself is a lively place, characterized by collaborative and purposeful activity where students are empowered to do their best for themselves and to contribute to the learning and well-being of others. They are supportive of each other and are establishing their personal set of beliefs and values. The school community encourages reflection which results in thoughtful consideration of issues, problems, and successes. Our teachers balance the pursuit of understanding and the construction of meaning with the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. They use a range of teaching and assessment strategies and resources to meet the needs of each student, and students are actively engaged in planning and assessing their own learning. Peek into our classrooms, and you will find dynamic learning environments, with students moving from group work to individual work in response to their needs and the needs of their inquiries. Our classrooms provide a place for thinking, where expectations are high, within an environment focused on holistic learning.