At Sara Curry Day School we have two strong founding principles. The first is Emotional Education and the second is Child-Directed Learning.
How does Emotional Education fit into school? The answer is children do not turn off their feelings when they enter the door. If a child is struggling with loneliness, fear, anger, anxiety, they cannot work at their best. Our method of A.R.T. means that in the classroom we Accept children’s feelings, we take the time to Reflect and we Teach them strategies of controlling, understanding, and managing their feelings, as well as the ability to understand why others behave the way they do. Not only are these lifelong skills which help children to build great relationships and do well at work, they are essential in the classroom for full Executive Functioning and cognitive growth.
How does Child-Directed learning improve academic outcomes? Personal investment in a project is more important than doing what the teacher or your parents want you to do. Since children are full of curiosity and are natural learners, we want to encourage that passionate drive – we want to know what they want to know. We spend time exploring the world together, going on adventures, then we help them to express their many many questions and unpack their interests. And finally we assist them in their projects, which can be as creative as they want. Studies show that many children become disaffected, disengaged, bored, when it’s ‘top-down’ teaching that lacks relevance to them. Not at Sara Curry Day School. Here, their agenda is our agenda. Our children are full of excitement.
Children are full of ideas and we need to LISTEN to them, they are the future, our ideas we learned at school 20 years ago will certainly not be useful 20 years from now when they are agents in the world. So we let them come up with solutions, we always ask ourselves WHY NOT as we let go of our own preconceived ideas and follow the minds that are entrusted to our care.
They are the visionaries, we are the guides.