Our classrooms at KSI are always alive with the sound of learning. What does this learning sound like? Children asking questions, challenging their understanding and working together in groups towards making a change not only within our school, but as global citizens.
Every day at KSI is different, and the learning experienced goes beyond just the traditional subjects listed in a national curriculum. A typical day is not broken into fragments or isolated periods of learning, instead our teachers use your child’s natural curiosity to guide them in their planning and to develop engaging, meaningful learning experiences.
As children enter into the school they hang up their jacket and backpack on their hook and take out their book bag which holds any homework they need to share with the class today. As they enter the learning space they are greeted at the door by their teacher who does so with a smile and directs them to the morning message that is waiting for them at the carpet. The students can’t help but notice a new planting centre, and they all start buzzing with excitement about the exploring they will do.
As they form a circle on the carpet they turn their attention to the message that is waiting for them on the board. It is a mathematics problem and the children discuss their ideas about it and share their answers with each other. Next, the teacher takes them through what the morning will look like today. The teacher introduces the new centres that have been setup in the learning space, and has students share some of their thoughts about safety when using certain learning tools so that everyone is ready for a successful morning. As the students move around the classroom they engage in activities that have been planned with them in mind. As the learning is happening the teacher will call on a few students to introduce a new mathematics skill or review a challenging literacy concept. The teacher might decide that today she needs to stay at a learning centre to guide the conversation and help the students along. All instruction happening in this KSI classroom is personalised and allows students to develop at their own rate.
At one centre, students are planting apple seeds using different materials to see which setup allows a seed to grow the fastest and strongest. Another centre has students using plant materials to make animal homes for our friends living out in the garden. Across the room students are using the same materials to create art prints to decorate a new bulletin board about plants. All these activities have come out of a read aloud that happened earlier in the week and were all shaped by the questions asked by the students.
The classroom spills out beyond four walls and the outdoor space is also part of the learning environment. Students can move in and out of the classroom between tasks, taking time to engage with nature, fill their lungs with fresh air and get out extra energy before moving on to another learning task.
One of the students makes a discovery at a centre that she would like to share with the class so all the students are called to the carpet for a period of sharing. Several minutes of discussion follow with students asking more questions, and wondering about what might happen if they change the materials being used. Off they go to explore their ideas and continue learning.
Lunch gives students a chance to fuel their bodies and minds and to get ready for the rich learning activities that will continue throughout the afternoon block. Students will have a chance to explore their rotary subjects at this time. Portuguese is integrated into their unit of inquiry and takes place for one period daily. They will sing and make their own rhythm instruments in music, they will learn how to use a computer as a research tool in ICT and they will get a chance to further develop their motor skills while playing games and sports in Physical Education.
The final bell has just rung, and students return to their hooks, with their book bags in hand ready to complete their reading homework this evening. Although the day has been long and they are tired from all the learning that has happened they are excited to share stories about their day with their family and friends at home. They have left the day with so many things to share, and are all excited about coming back tomorrow for another full day of learning.