We have a high definition of quality which utilizes a child-centred, inquiry-based and Reggio inspired approach to learning, where children are free to express themselves through the language of, ‘drawing, painting, building clay and wire sculpture, shadow play, collage, dramatic play, music, and emerging writing, to name a few’ (Edwards, et al., 2012:7), alongside science, technology and mathematics, and so on, as they respond to complex challenges collaboratively, creativity, and critically, within a context that values curiosity, adaptability, and cultural / social awareness, etc.
We are committed to being a school where the unique capabilities, creativity, curiosity, and multi intelligence of each child are recognized, celebrated, and encouraged. We believe that given the opportunity to voice, listen, shape, reshape, form and reform their questions, theories, and activities, children see the possibilities of co-creating futures together (Rinaldi C., 2001, p. 195) .
We believe that degrees of diversity – whether that is a thought, discipline, and / or background (IDEO 2018) – has a direct impact on any school’s ability to facilitate the kind of quality of education previously described. Diverse experiences, skills and viewpoints – where they are free to be expressed and explored – stimulate the level of complex thinking and problem-solving that is required to foster progress in an innovation-driven society; a rapidly evolving world where the facts and future are uncertain or unclear (World Economic Forum, 2018. Diversity Trumps Talent).
“When the way forward is unknown, ‘creative collaboration’ utilizes the power of diversity and creativity to develop innovative solutions….A creative mindset helps us imagine new possibilities, and make unexpected connections between. While diversity…increases the nature and number of ideas. It is this combination that pushes you beyond the obvious and safe ideas, to the truly innovative”IDEO, 2018.
As a school we’re committed to being intentionally inter-cultural. Studies by The Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning show that where there is a mutual exchange of norms and ideas, deeper levels of knowledge, respect, and understanding of all cultures develop. In celebrating and making room for diversity, no one is left unchanged, because everyone learns from one another (2016).
Where is the future? Where does the “new” reside? We will find the future in places where new forms of human coexistence, participation, and co-participation are tried out….It is necessary for us to learn this unity in diversity, and this diversity in unity’Cagliari P., 2012. One city, many children: Reggio Emilia, a history of the present, p. 45.
As one of the world’s top 10 countries – in terms of it’s diversity – at the tip of the most diverse continent on the planet, South Africa is uniquely positioned to be able to offer one of the best education systems in the world – by providing more opportunities for its children to learn how to live together, rather than continue to be separated by its ongoing economic-based inequalities.
…the current structure of the education system dictates that if you’ve got money you get a better education. ‘South Africa has the most unequal school system in the world.’Drs Muavia Gallie and Nic Spaull, 2015.
To ensure that quality education is accessible to a socio-economically diverse group of families, the payment of fees at our school are based on household income. By calculating school fees on a sliding scale, we are able to increase diversity within the classroom, and, with that, children’s access to the kind of quality education that nurtures the range of Foundational Literacies, Competencies and Character Qualities that every child requires to thrive as a lifelong learner in the 21st-Century.