6 Reasons to Join Us!
Great people, personalized learning, and awesome relationships across our whanau
What makes us different from other education institutions/schools is that we deliver an exceptional education in a manner that is progressive and holistic, in a tight, family-oriented community setting. In practice, this means the following:
1. We are a small school. We currently have composite classes but will grow to a maximum of one class per grade. We do this because we believe that this is the best way for us to provide a space in which children of all ages can feel safe, happy, and supported to explore and take age-appropriate risks - prerequisites to becoming confident lifelong learners. (We recognize that small schools are not for everyone but, for those looking for a place for their child to grow into themselves in a family-oriented setting, then a small school may be best.)
2. The education we deliver is highly personalized and individual, with differentiated attention for all our children. We can do this because we are a small school and our programme (based on the New Zealand Curriculum supplemented by international programmes and taught in a composite classroom setting) caters to this. We teach to the individual, not a standard benchmark. This allows us to address individual needs, provide leadership opportunities for those kids who are ready, and promote deep involvement of all our children.
3. We partner closely with a child’s whānau (larger family consisting of parents, guardians, relatives, and broader community) as we see this community as central to a child's mental/intellectual, emotional and physical growth. This means working closely with parents and others who are important in a child's life to respond to their different learning needs. It also means that we expect parents to work and engage with us in support of the child’s best interests.
4. Our children, together with their teachers, determine the direction and pace of their learning. For our younger learners, this is done through a combination of free and structured play to encourage confidence, exploration and fun. For our older learners, this is done through enquiry-based / project-based integrated learning. We find child-centered and -directed learning encourages children’s autonomy and sense of control over their own learning, leading to more effective learning. The New Zealand Curriculum was one of the first curricula globally to be enquiry-based so we are able to support children with this effectively.
5. The classroom is everywhere. Children learn best when they are immersed in experiences that are engaging, meaningful, and interactive. Such experiences can happen anywhere, not just in the physical classroom. Building on this idea, we take our teaching out of the traditional classroom whenever possible, including through small group projects, through online and digital channels, on study trips, by learning about current events, and even by encouraging kids to watch and accompany Mum and Dad in their day-to-day activities.
6. We see children as whole human beings with not only intellectual needs but also social-emotional and physical needs, as well as the need for character development that must be met. In practice, this means delivering a programme that nourishes a child’s mind, body and heart. To this end, we value and encourage children to explore the creative arts and sports as much as the traditional ‘hard’ subjects. We also emphasize the development of a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset) and self-awareness through social and emotional literacy programmes.