A “free to be me” learning environment where students broaden their perspective and can say: “I am worthy, I belong and I am unique!”
A focus on executive functioning is essential for student learning, especially while they are increasingly exploring their competencies and discovering their potential. Flexible thinking, organization, time-management and goal setting are an intentional focus in these years to support our students’ success inside and outside of school. Academic expectations in the intermediate years of our elementary school program are met in a warmly collaborative and community-conscious environment that encourages students to take risks, and motivates them to pursue excellence. This transitional stage is characterized by more formalized creative and critical thinking models as they stretch their thinking into project and inquiry based learning.
Teachers delight in taking the time to get to know their students to create a learning space where your child can thrive. We see and celebrate the unique individual that is each child and the gifts they bring naturally to the classroom. So, teachers create personally designed learning and real-time feedback that supports students to set goals, create strategies and monitor their progress as they increasingly take ownership of their learning. Self-expression and self-reflection can be challenging, but these are encouraged and cultivated as students learn to ask powerful questions through learning experiences that build on foundational literacy and numeracy skills and curricular content.
Throughout, a focus on academic rigour permeates instructional design and learning comes alive for our students as they explore the physical and social sciences; physical education and the arts; as well as literacy and numeracy. Independence in literacy is always a priority and continues to be supported seamlessly through the frame of “Daily 5”. Students explore reading-to-self, reading with a peer, listening to a fluent reader, working with words and daily writing, and advance to greater independence and mastery as readers and writers.
Development is further supported through regular class meetings, which give students a chance to practice social skills that are essential for success in the classroom, an extra-curricular club, or any other context in their world. Empathy, communication and problem solving skills are taught, modelled and applied in real life social situations that matter to students. As well, students have opportunities for more independence and leadership roles throughout the school through after-school sports and clubs, or opportunities to collaborate with both younger students as well as Houses and cohorts in Middle Years Lane.
Ultimately, we are supporting our students to be life-long learners who are deeply engaged with learning that matters. In all things, authenticity is key. Embedded in strong attachments to teachers, this might look like a classroom economy where students learn to earn and manage money to “buy” or “rent” their desks, or perform classroom jobs and buy rewards. Authentic learning could look like an entrepreneur project in which students develop and design a business plan around a real product or service that addresses a legitimate need that they have identified in their local or global community. Or it might look like working with peers, teachers and parents to resolve a conflict on the playground. In all, we are dedicated to helping your children become their best selves in the world.
From your initial inquiry and tour, through the registration process, it is a joy for us to help you and your family navigate, answer questions, and unpack this next stage in your journey at Willowstone Academy!