The first five years of a child’s life determine their success in the future. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that habits, values, skills, and ethics imparted to a child at this age will have a definite impact on the child’s future. As I have always maintained: the impact of a single day of learning in the early years is equivalent to years of learning in the future.
Knowing That One Size Doesn’t Fit All
The greatest impact on the child is by the environment in which they learn. Learning spaces must be designed keeping the learner and the learning in mind. When we developed our classrooms and curriculum at Oakridge, we knew that there has to be a symbiotic relationship between them. It is impossible to assume that one size fits all and that all curricula can be implemented in any classroom.
Allowing Students To Ask Questions
The second environmental factor to keep in mind is the people. Teachers have a tremendous impact on the impact of learning on a child. Whenever I think back to my own schooling, I am reminded of the classes in which I thrived and it was singularly because a teacher believed in me and never denied me the opportunity to ask questions.
Every teacher-training at Oakridge involves learning methods to encourage children to be more curious. There are no “incorrect questions” and students are given ample opportunity in the classrooms to drive their learning through the Inquiry-method in which the IB-PYP curriculum is rooted in.
Strengthening Relationship Between Teachers & Parents
The third essential factor to determine success in learning is the relationship between teachers and parents of their students. At Oakridge, we have constantly focussed on communication between the various adults responsible for the upbringing of our young learners through a variety of methods such as calls, emails, weekly reports, the online helpdesk and so on. If the child sees that there is alignment in the beliefs of his/her parents and teachers, it results in a stable identity resulting in greater confidence.
Opportunities to display student leadership, competitions in various areas, chances to present ideas publicly, working in groups and being a part of sports teams are some of the ways in which students at Oakridge become more confident and start to contribute to society in a positive manner.