The Whole School cultivates a respectful environment and encourages each child’s unlimited abilities. Building confidence and self-esteem are at the root of all our activities. We believe helping children to recognize their own potential is essential to fostering leadership, confidence, self-esteem and a life long love of learning.
The Whole School uses student-centered, experiential approaches to support academic skills in core curriculum subjects. Creative arts are integrated into all subjects, and students enjoy a variety of artistic forms which they use to demonstrate their learning. At the Whole School we believe daily exposure to drama, music, movement and handiwork keep the child’s natural wonder and imagination active.
We teach in multi-aged classes as we believe this setting allows children to develop academically, socially and emotionally at their own pace without pressure of living up to grade level standards. Students feel safe and supported while accomplishing skills and knowledge at their level. Thematic units span all the classrooms in the school, allowing the children to come together, collaborate, and build on each other’s understandings.
Bio-regionalism and community building are an important part of the school curriculum. The Whole School draws upon mentors from the community that offer exploration into many different areas such as fiber arts, clay, woodworking, cooking, dance and regional history. These activities help the students to develop a deep sense of appreciation for their community: its history, ethnic groupings as well as cultural and spiritual values.
The importance of health and physical activity are stressed at The Whole School. Children spend a good part of each day in the outdoors, experiencing the rhythms of the seasons. We believe participating in the cycles of nature helps children to develop an awareness and sensitivity of their natural environment. Students at The Whole School gain instruction in plant and tree identification, knowledge of local wildlife, wild crafting, survival skills and first aid. Every Friday is devoted entirely to physical activities that enhance the student’s leadership, environmental responsibility/awareness, self-confidence, courage and determination.
At The Whole School children’s ideas and concerns are honoured using a consensus model of decision making. This allows students to express their opinions concerning learning activities and classroom boundaries. In reporting, letter grades are not use. Instead student evaluations are anecdotal in nature, encouraging and reinforcing the student’s individual accomplishments.