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Image by Sebastian Unrau

How Learning Happens at Saplings

Here at Saplings, we are attentive to the BC curriculum, which has been designed to respond to the demanding world our students are entering. All areas of learning are based on a “Know-Do-Understand” model to support a concept-based competency-driven approach to learning. Three elements, the Content (Know), Curricular Competencies (Do), and Big Ideas (Understand) all work together to support deeper learning. 

Like the BC curriculum, we aim to be "learner-centered", flexible, and focused on literacy and numeracy while supporting deeper learning through concept- based and competency-driven approaches. Key content, concepts, competencies, skills, and big ideas that foster higher-order thinking will also be addressed.  Our goal is to stimulate self-directed and lifelong learning in order to prepare students to be aware, thoughtful, engaged, creative, flexible, self-motivated, principled, respectful, and informed citizens who can think critically, communicate effectively, and make independent decisions.

Saplings seeks to help grow and support the ever-changing child with our dynamic, experiential curriculum.  By fostering a student’s sense of curiosity that promotes life-longing learning and interests, we aim to ensure that every student, as is their right, will experience the natural world as part of their education now and into the future.

Each educator is dedicated to local, inclusive, ethical, and democratic classroom methods. By exploring the emergent moments in the classroom, staff encourage student inquiry, responding as a lender of experience, co-learner, researcher, and resource guide. Saplings encourages educators to engage with the complicated moments of ‘not knowing’ by viewing derailments as opportunities for learning. Educators understand that teacher, student, and environment are constantly engaging with one another. Recognizing that there is no single route toward knowledge, educators allow that each student’s educational journey has them wandering along a path toward a ‘moving horizon’ with no fixed end.  

Saplings’ students will practice active learning based on the belief that people learn best through active, memorable experiences in real-time with people, materials from the natural world, events, and emerging ideas. Through making choices about their materials, activities, and learning throughout their days by pursuing their personal interests and goals within a framework of skills and thinking strategies, students engage in their educational process. Throughout this process, students explore, ask and answer questions, solve problems, and interact with other classmates and community members. In this type of environment students naturally engage in “key experiences” which foster developmentally important skills and abilities. 

Our Saplings:

Are thoughtful and able to learn and to think critically, and can communicate Information from a broad knowledge base

Are capable of making independent decisions

Are co-operative, principled, and respectful of others regardless of differences

Are creative, flexible, and self-motivated and have a positive self-image

​Are productive, gain satisfaction through achievement, and strive for physical well-being

Are skilled and able to contribute to society generally, including the world of work

​Are aware of the rights of the individual and are prepared to exercise the responsibilities of the individual within the family, the community, Canada, and the world.

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