Our Approach to Learning
Learning happens all the time! At Surreybrook we encourage it in a multitude of ways – through peer interactions and relationships, through provocations set out by teachers, via offerings hosted by students, teachers and community members, and by allowing students time to observe and experience life!
We view children as competent individuals who are interested in having a say in their own education. Children naturally want to learn, and it is often just a matter of getting out of their way. By closely observing the child’s interests and areas of focus, we are able to help them to develop their ideas, expand upon their initial interpretations and deepen their understanding.
We also want children to have real experiences that provide opportunities to feel compassion for animals and other living things, such as our school’s plants and animals in our garden and on the grounds of the school.
Thus, a huge focus of our “curriculum” is creating space and time for this natural social work to happen through play, through conversation, within meetings, and through the course of everyday experiences like lunchtime or taking nature walks.
By encouraging them to follow their interests, we are supporting the development of critical thinking skills, allowing for time in the learning process, and allowing them to come to reading, writing, math, science, art and more on their own terms. Within this naturally meaningful context, the knowledge attained in the content areas has staying power by association to the interest of the child.