BIG SCHOOL

OUR QUALITY GUARANTEE

As a result of attending Misty Meadows we guarantee that your child will:

  • Develop and practise the 4Cs (Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity and Collaboration) on a daily basis.

  • Know who he/she is, and how to be the best version of him/herself.

  • Be resourceful in creating opportunities for him/herself.

  • Practice a wide range of physical, mental, creative, social and emotional skills every day.

  • Participate in a wide range of activities each week including: art, music, workshop, yoga, martial arts, sport, drama, gardening, nature walks, new science-related experiments, structured inquiries, and practical self-sufficiency activities.

  • Learn effective techniques for conflict resolution and collaboration.

  • Work on projects that are personally meaningful to him/her with amazing mentoring and encouragement from a wide range of kind, caring, intelligent adults.

  • Be well prepared to accomplish whatever he/she dreams of for him/herself.

  • Be part of a rich learning community that extends well beyond our physical school.

HOW WE FUNCTION

School runs from 8am to 12 noon, Monday to Friday (excluding school holidays) with an extra hour for sport on Wednesday (finishing at 1pm)

Children can be dropped from 7.30am and fetched by 12.30pm.

 

Bring a healthy snack for mid-morning break and wear comfortable, practical clothes that might get rather dirty.

 

Our primary school consists of five groups, each with their own class teacher: Grades 1 and 2 (Geckos class with Sybil le Clus), Grades 3 and 4 (Ninjas and Dragons class with Kerry Currie), Grades 5 and 6 (Rhinos class with Ryjin Long), Grade 7 (Falcons class with Ros Janisch) and High School (Eagles group with Cassie Janisch and Trish Gatland).

 

Programme for Foundation Phase (Grades 1-4)

 

This is what we call the “learning to read” phase of school. What we mean by this is that this is the phase geared towards children developing some basic skills that they can then apply in their self-directed learning as they get older. By “read” we don’t just mean actual reading, but also how to read people and view life situations, as well as developing some of the foundational skills you might use to succeed in your life; including using numbers, communication, teamwork, self-discipline, self-confidence, etcetera.

 

During this phase we have therefore geared our programme towards the children acquiring some basic skills, including reading, writing and maths. However, instead of drilling them all to learn the same information in the same way, and to be able to repeat it back by rote, we have the time and capacity to explore these subjects in a leisurely way together – our lessons are structured inquiries alongside an adult rather than a process of drilling and testing.

 

Programme for Grades 5 up

 

This is the “reading to learn” phase of school, as opposed to the “learning to read” of our first five years of school. This phase is when the children have already developed a whole lot of capacities and skills, and now it is a case of putting these into practice and refining them while doing things that interest you specifically. We have designed a very rich and exciting programme for these older children which includes explorations in language, maths, science, history, geography and art.

 

We are committed to using technology to foster inquiry-based learning using a constructivist pedagogical approach. We, as teachers, aim to prompt our learners to formulate their own questions and we aim to support their creation of their own knowledge in a meaningful way. Our purpose with the older children is to encourage the development of research and writing skills, critical thinking, communication skills, the application of the scientific method, and collaborative skills.

 

Personal development programme

Following our enormously successful personal development programme with Trish Gatland in 2019 and 2020, Trish is joining our staff three days per week to work specifically with the older children on identifying and supporting their learning styles, how to set goals and meet them, how to make a meaningful contribution to our community, the blame game and how to stop playing it, learning tools and resources, etcetera. Trish also works extensively with the Enneagram personality archetypes to help children identify their personal strengths and weaknesses.  

 

Yoga

We continue to offer Kaley’s regular yoga classes as an effective tool for practicing mindfulness and self-discipline, as well as being excellent for the physical body. Whilst not everyone would choose to do yoga every week, the benefits from regular practice are noticeable – all the teachers who have time with children after they have done yoga notice that they are far more calm and focused than at other times.

 

Gardening

Gardening lessons take place with Cassie in our Misty Meadows Farm orchard and include a wide range of farm-related skills including making compost, preparing beds, planting seeds, tending vegetables, plant identification and care, digging and weeding, processing of grown products (pickling, jam-making etcetera), care of farm animals, use of farm produce to create products to sell (eg, eggs and cream to make ice-cream).

 

Workshop

The older children attend weekly workshop sessions with Sandile. Some of these workshop projects produce individual items that kids will get to take home, whilst other projects are to improve our school (picnic benches, jetty, etcetera). All projects will give the children practical experience with using tools, planning and implementing projects, and achieving the sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing a process through to completion and having something to show for it at the end.

 

MMA and sport

Ryjin’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) classes are great for learning self-defense and developing confidence in one’s strength, as well as being fun and disciplined and great exercise. Our favourite sport at Misty Meadows is Ultimate Frisbee with Ryjin as our amazing coach. Frisbee is a wonderful sport enjoyed by boys and girls together. It is great for experiencing the joys of teamwork, as well as being lots of fun and great for physical health and fitness.

 

ATB

Awareness Through the Body (ATB) teaches children to use all their senses, including their intuition, in exploring their world.

 

Craniosacral Therapy

Any child who feels they would benefit is welcome to book a Craniosacral Therapy (CST) session with Donovan on a Tuesday or a Thursday on a first-come-first-served basis. Children start to experience stress in their lives due to a wide variety of causes (physical, mental, or emotional).  Children often show that stress by being overly active or having a lack of focus, or by being overly emotional.  CST is a tool for helping to restore balance and calmness in their lives. Children receiving these holistic therapies grow in understanding themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. They then can carry this knowledge of self care into their adult lives. Parents are welcome to talk to Donovan in order to better understand what he does and are encouraged to attend these sessions with their children.

 

PARENTS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Will my child learn to read and write?

Yes, but not all at the same time and maybe later than other schools. When they do learn these skills they will be in context and therefore properly retained.

Will my child learn maths?

Yes, in many, many different ways, and without even realising that it is maths or finding it scary or hard. Maths is a tool for measuring life, and in that context it is useful and interesting to everybody. We will not explicitly teach the same maths curriculum to everyone at the same time.

 

Will you follow the national curriculum?

No we will not. We have read and understand the national curriculum and a lot of it is common sense and what children would choose to learn anyway at each age and stage. The biggest problem with the CAPS national curriculum is its standardised assessment requirements which do not allow for personalised education. We will maintain an awareness of the national curriculum guidelines without explicitly sticking to them. In many cases children will be functioning well in advance of curriculum requirements. We will not explicitly teach the national curriculum or test or assess children according to this curriculum.

 

Will my child get homework or write tests and exams?

No.

 

Will my child know what children in traditional schools are learning?

Yes, but they will hopefully feel more engaged in what they are learning and dive deeper into subjects that interest them, which might mean not focusing on subjects that do not interest them. Sending your child to our school requires you to trust them to learn what they need to know to thrive in their own life.

 

Will my child be able to swop to a normal school for high school?

They will be capable of succeeding in a “normal” high school if that is what you think is necessary.