NEXT OPEN DAY
In a rapidly changing world, building resilience in our children is crucial to their well-being and success. Resilence is not a hard outer shell created by tough experiences. Resilience is a strong inner core created by self-awareness, self-belief and creativity.
Seven Oaks provides a highly empowering environment designed to help children grow into highly capable and brilliantly resilient adults. Our empowering environment is built on five powerful principles:
1. Caring educator-student relationships
Our educators are first and foremostly role models for their students. To elicit the inner brilliance of their students, they learn to accept each one without judgement, always see and encourage the best in them, encourage each student's voice, offer appropriate comfort when required, provide guidance by identifying each student's next steps and to develop collaborative working relationships with parents.
2. A rich physical environment
Nature is incorporated as much as possible into both the inside and outside environs. Trees, gardens and even long grass are provided so students can engage with the natural world and develop their all-important sensory functions. We provide opportunities for them to grow their own flowers and vegetables and to care for animals. This engagement with real life as a child is foundational to their happiness and their sense of place in the World throughout their adult life.
3. Appropriate educator authority
Educators who are confident of their own inner self are able to gain the trust of their students and work alongside them as a guide and mentor. Rather than being authoritarian, our educators learn to tune into their authentic inner selves to develop a heart centred connection with their students, install healthy boundaries, allow the appropriate expression of their own and the students' feelings and guide students to establish their own internal frames of reference.
4. Student empowerment
Children learn about empowerment by being empowered. At Seven Oaks students' needs and rights are as valid as adults'. To learn how to make good decisions, Seven Oaks students are increasingly given choices as they progress through school. In issues that affect them, students are consulted and, where appropriate, decide what actions will be taken.
Seven Oaks students learn to set little goals very early on. With experience, they are encouraged to set personal learning goals and are given tools to help achieve those goals. More important than what subject they are learning is how they learn, what they find difficult and steps they can take to work through the difficulties.
5. Healthy Peer Culture
In preference to the standard competitive school environment, Seven Oaks is built on a culture of co-operation. Valuing everyone for their unique self and eliminating comparative testing, is fundamental to a healthy environment. From the beginning, our students are encouraged to recognise and manage acceptable behaviour by discussing and agreeing upon their classroom's "Our Way Of Being." We utilise conflicts as an opportunity for students to voice their experiences, discuss what outcome they would like and create steps to bring it about.
Mixed class lessons, celebrating each other's birthdays, welcoming new students and end of term whole-school lunches are other ways that we build strong relationships between our students.