Our students are taught how to be responsible and independent starting from Grade 0. At this stage, our 5–6-year-old students learn in age-appropriate ways how to take care of themselves, their own belongings, and school supplies. Students have jobs and duties as classroom helpers, such as teacher’s assistant, calendar helper, line leader, door holder, tidier, chair monitor, and pencil sharpener. Their tasks change on a regular basis, helping develop their growth, self-management, sense of responsibility, and independence.
For grades 0-2, the learning is organized through heavily integrated themes raising from the curriculum topics and the students’ interests. At this level, making a clear distinction whether children are studying e.g. Math or Arts is not relevant, but rather the relevance raises from the organized learning activities and their connection to the students’ lives. In grades 0-2, learning takes place through play and active participation in collaborative knowledge construction.
When in class, we do not believe in making students sit quietly and memorize information. Keeping students active is a key feature in all grade levels in our school. Particularly for students ages 5-7, the most effective way to learn is through structured and guided play and activity. We apply age-appropriate ways of teaching, make learning interesting, and support their life-long passion to learn.
Grade 2 student’s school day
The school gate opens at 6.30am, but most of the students arriving briefly before the first lesson of the day at 7.30am. Students head to their own unit where their class teachers are waiting for them.
The day starts with a morning circle, where the whole class sit down together to go through what’s in store for the day. Then it’s time to study!
45 minutes later, it’s time for the first break! The second graders love to go out and play. Free-form play enables children to practice social interaction and release excess energy.
Back to lessons! Now the second graders have two lessons in a row. Learning is built around meaningful topics like family, health food, or weather. The teaching and learning is active, utilising plenty of pedagogically designed play and games. The children learn best when they are excited about their studies and enjoy the lessons.
Time for lunch! Second graders eat in their own classroom: some students bring a packed lunch, others go for the healthy lunch provided at the canteen.
Once more, it’s time to go outside and be active. On windy or stormy days, the students may stay inside, but customarily we encourage them to move. Being active during breaks helps the children concentrate on their studies once back in class.
The last two classes of the day can for example focus on arts or crafts, with a 15-minute break in between. Many skills are learned and practiced and these creative subject lessons connect theory into the practice.
Before finishing at 1pm, the class summarize the day. Students clean their own desks and make sure that all the belongings are packed up in the backpacks.
After school, some second graders grab a snack at the Canteen and head to an ECA – extra-curricular activity- for example choir, parkour, coding, or science. There’s also an afternoon club, if a second grader’s older sibling is at the school till 2pm, or if student’s bus leaves at 2pm, they can stay for the club and for instance do their homework.
Learning takes place everywhere: a second grader’s homework might consist of clearing the family’s dinner table in the evening and taking a photo to show his/her housekeeping skills to the class. The most important is to learn how to be responsible and independent.