Philosophy & Guiding Principles

Our vision is to provide educational opportunities that empower children to create fundamental social change towards more fulfilling and ecologically sustainable communities. To this end, we have chosen a teaching approach that models bioregional philosophies and provides freedom of expression and choice to students.

The school is government certified and offers the BC curriculum with an alternative, ungraded, bioregional approach. Children learn at their own pace and through their unique interests. Their individuality is cherished while they are held responsible and accountable to the group and to other individuals. In this way, a community of independent learners is developed, and children learn naturally from one another as well as from available adults.

"The crisis cannot be solved with the same kind of education that helped create the problems."
David Orr -- from his book "Ecological Literacy".

Basis of Unity

Our philosophy is firstly reflected in our guiding principles which were developed before the school started in 1999. The guiding principles are part of the constitution of the Society which runs the school. These principles, along with the rest of the constitution, lay out the basis of unity upon which consensus decisions are made to reflect the current group. This basis of unity is accepted by everyone who joins the community and is the one constant that does not change.

Guiding Principles

The following Guiding Principles have informed the creation of our programs:

  • We believe in children's intrinsic ability and need to learn.
  • We trust the children to choose what, how and when they learn within the learning environment.
  • We strive for education of the whole child: body, mind, heart and spirit.
  • We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment where children, parents, teachers and mentors can teach and learn together.
  • We value democracy: children and adults participate equally in age-appropriate decisions.
  • We strive to create an educational culture which is tolerant and supportive of individual expression.
  • We support cooperative learning and cooperative play above competition.
  • We value simplicity and support local, ecologically sound economies.
  • We respect the integrity of the natural environment in which we live.
  • We strive to connect children to nature and to a diversity of people in their community.
  • We believe that a bioregional focus will give children the tools to work toward a more sustainable and fulfilling society

Commitment

Apart from the basis of unity, the school is continually changing and adapting to the needs of its members through a consensus process. We are continually building a progressive learning environment which fosters our commitment to:

  • learning experience choices within engaging environments
  • multi-age grouping with ungraded education
  • child centred, friendly and non-judgemental practices
  • self-directed, inquiry-based learning
  • bioregional practices and philosophy
  • age-appropriate decision-making for all participants
  • parent and community contribution to learning experiences
  • affordable alternative education