Educational Philosophy

The Small School is a child-centred, democratic school strongly focused on nurturing and protecting each child’s intrinsic drive to be curious and explore,
to create and invent. We believe the protection and development of children’s natural playfulness and curiosity is at the heart of their learning success.

 

We take a holistic approach to the curriculum and use project-based and play-based learning and an emergent curriculum (child-led learning) as much as possible. 

We aim to lay the foundation for a lifelong love of learning by allowing children to practice self-directed learning. In this approach, children will develop an understanding of how they learn, what they love to learn and experience more joy in learning.

We also use many time-tested wisdoms in how children learn, namely through their love of a good teacher and adventurous, hands-on learning. 

We are committed to democratic education and encourage children to be involved in decision-making at our school. We want children to feel respected and heard, and to have some say in how they spend their day and what they learn. 

Our approaches to decision-making, our learning program and to our school culture are all guided by our commitment to relationships, with ourselves, each other and our environment.

We truly value and welcome parents and community mentors to participate in our school. We want children to experience being at school and learning at school in connection with their families and wider community as much as possible.

Education for the Future

 

The future world in which our children will live will look very different from today’s world. New and rapidly advancing technologies are increasingly changing the way we live and learn. Simultaneously, our natural world is changing due to shifts in the earth’s climate, and because of significant losses in biodiversity and natural resources. 

Faced with these challenges, we believe it is vital for children to have the ability to envisage a positive future and feel empowered to contribute to it. This will require skills in imagination, collaboration and inventiveness and qualities such as kindness, courage, confidence and perseverance. We will foster these skills through a dynamic, child-centred, project-based curriculum and nurture these attributes by living them in our school community.

When children leave our school we want them to feel empowered by their love of learning and their ability to envisage and understand the possibilities of a better world. 

  

Our guiding principles are:

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