Over the past thirty-three years the philosophy of our schools has evolved into a set of clearly stated, and closely practiced beliefs. The core belief centers on relationships, how each part of our schools creates, and supports every other part: child, teacher, parent, staff, environment, and community. Through constant study and reflection our schools have become a demonstration of this philosophy of relationships.
We continually refine the quality of our relationships through the practice of documentation. Documentation affirms the children and makes visible our image of the child as a competent, creative and articulate member of the school community. Our positive image of the child motivates us to make this competence visible to others. We document the children’s work using transcripts, photographs, and video to create a community of learners. Children revisit these documents to reflect on their assumptions, strategies, and goals. Teachers study these documents to improve their conversations with children. Parents review these documents to gather an intellectual understanding of their child’s work and to become an educational partner of the school. Through such records the general public learns the good work of the school and advocates for its support. By degrees our image of the child as strong and intelligent becomes known to all, including the children themselves.
We understand that high quality learning requires high quality space. We constantly record, and study the relationship between space and learning, from the calming peace of a quiet space to the relationship between space and learning, from the calming peace of a quiet space to the positive energy of a play space. We believe that the environment can be designed to communicate a message of welcome, of support, and of belonging. Each item in the classroom from furnishings to photographs is placed there to support this image of the environment as a teacher that engenders a disposition for the child to slow down, to reflect, and to enjoy.
As a set of international schools, we value and support meaningful relationships among the diverse cultures of our families. We understand that diversity creates a reason to reflect, to question, and to grow in skills, awareness, and humanity. We value the relation between listening and acting, between aesthetics and utility, and between parents and programme. Particularly in the context of this diversity we maintain our image that each child is strong and competent, an image that also applies to the teacher, parent, community and environment, each part creating and supporting the other.