Image of the child.
Our image of a child is of a uniquely capable, creative and curious individual, with multi intelligences.
To fulfil their holistic potential – cognitively, physically, spiritually and socio-emotionally – we believe that all children should be active participants in their own learning and development. In our school, teachers facilitate learning by observing, recording, reviewing, and then responding to the documented “moments” and everyday “experiences” of children (Kashin 2014).
A child-centred, inquiry-based, and Reggio inspired approach to learning ensures greater involvement and sustains interest; learners discover for themselves in authentic situations, constructing knowledge with others. Our approach enables children to develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills that are relevant and necessary to fulfil their aspirations in today’s society – skills like complex thinking, problem solving, flexibility and creativity; all this alongside Foundational Literacies.
In order to support children to fulfill their holistic potential, teachers – like their students – also need to be able to see themselves as capable, creative, curious, and intelligent; actively participating, collaborating, and reflecting as they teach, co-learn, and develop alongside children and their peers.
Teachers model and encourage children to be life-long learners, by understanding the importance of working alongside, researching, observing, facilitating, provoking learning, dialoguing, questioning, listening, thinking, and respecting learners’ cultural experiences, ideas and viewpoints. Our high-calibre staff work as a team to develop intentionally intercultural contexts for teaching and learning.
In schools inspired by child-led, inquiry-based and Reggio Inspired philosophies of education, the natural and built-environments take on the role of a ‘third teacher’ – alongside the children, and their educators – to provoke learning and discovery, by making space for each child to express, explore and experiment with their unique capabilities, creativity, curiosity, and multiple intelligences.
Modern Learning Environments are physically adaptable, always emerging, changeable, flexible, full of possibilities, interconnected, limitless, open, with different levels and viewpoints – just like learning should, and just like life is.
Children can access a variety of languages of expression and exploration within learning space(s) – inside and outside – they are free to move between disciplines and utilize different media as and when they see fit.
Children grow cognitively, physically, spiritually, and socio-emotionally in a natural and built-environment where there is ‘space’ for them to develop Foundational Literacies, alongside critical thinking / problem-solving, creativity, communication, collaboration, curiosity, persistence / grit, adaptability, leadership and social / cultural awareness; some of the skills that they require in order to thrive in the 21st Century.
Relationships with parent-carers.
We believe that establishing and ensuring quality, diverse, and affordable education is a shared responsibility between the school’s leadership team / staff, the children, their parent-carers, and the wider community. Studies show that when and wherever parent-carers are committed, collaborating, and contributing to their child’s education, children are more motivated (Okeke 2014).
As a leadership, management, and teaching team, we seek genuine, intimate, and meaningful partnerships with parent-carers, which begin to bridge differences in belief, culture, socio-economics, and so on. We unashamedly favour practices, rhythms, and ways of being where, ‘…no one is left unchanged because everyone learns from one another and grows together’ (Spring 2016).
We see our school as an intercultural micro-society, which models to wider society how to develop deeper relationships, as we mutually exchange our resources, ideas, and cultural norms.
To build a socially cohesive society, South Africa needs to reduce poverty and inequality by broadening opportunity and employment through economic inclusion, education and skills, and specific redress measures; promote mutual respect and inclusiveness by acting on the constitutional imperative that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, and that all are equal before the law; and deepen the appreciation of citizens’ responsibilities and obligations towards one another.National Development Plan 2030 Our future – make it work (p. 25).