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Our Goals and Values
Our goal is to provide an exceptional education for all our children as well as the support, challenges and experiences they need to grow into happy and resilient lifelong learners.
Who do we serve and who do we partner with?
First and foremost, we serve our students. They are the ones for whom we are here. This means that we are always in service to the best interests and physical, mental and social wellbeing of the child.
We recognize that serving our students and nurturing children ‘takes a village’. For this reason, we partner with the ‘whãnau’, a Maori term for extended family or community. In practice, this means working closely with parents, guardians and families as the main asset in their children’s lives.
Families who opt to partner with us and send their children to NZSJ are:
Progressive in how they view education. They are not attached to rote learning, memorization or benchmarks, but rather to having their children ‘learn to learn’ and learn to love learning. They believe in continuous learning, even as adults!
Active in their children’s education, while trusting us to do our job. This means that they are ready to collaborate with us to identify and respond to their child’s needs and are looking for a relational connection (not a transactional one) with us as their child’s educator.
Open-minded, respectful of everyone, friendly and constructive.
Supportive of us and open to contributing their time and energy to our community.
To provide the best education to our students, we also partner with third-parties that provide services to strengthen our school ecosystem. Those we partner with provide the best product or service at a reasonable price, and are transparent, honest, communicative and fair.
At NZSJ, we believe that an effective education doesn’t just come from memorizing or lecturing. Active participation in the learning process entails analyzing, discussing and collaborating - in order to comprehend and retain. All of our teaching is designed to encourage deep mental processing and student engagement with the class material.
NZSJ is a unique educational facility that offers a nurturing environment for our students to explore and investigate the world around them within a safe and familiar ‘small-school’ setting. Our school implements the New Zealand Te Whaariki curriculum in our Early Years (pre-school and kindergarten) and the New Zealand Curriculum in our Primary and Secondary School.
6 Reasons to Join Us!
Great people, personalized learning, and awesome relationships across our whãnau
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:
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.)
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.
We partner closely with a child’s whãnau (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.
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.
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.
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.
If this philosophy resonates with you, get in touch!
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