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Frequently asked questions
What ages does Seven Oaks cater for? When will the early learning school start?
We currently have students aged from 5 to 13. We will open a pre-school shortly after moving to our Halswell campus.
We have many children registered to start with us in the coming years. However, for many reasons not all of them will come to Seven Oaks, so there is still an excellent chance that your child will be able to start with us.
We generally follow the standard school terms. School hours are 9:15 to 3:16. Drop-off time in the morning is between 8:45 and 9:15. Pick-up time in the afternoon is 3:16 to 3:45.
How many children are there in your classrooms?
We have up to 15 children per educator. Small classes with a friendly, ‘personal’ learning environment have huge benefits over large impersonal classes. Children feel safer, happier and more connected. This supports them emotionally, socially and intellectually.
What is your philosophy? How do you differ from other schools?
Seven Oaks School is owned by The Holistic Education Trust. Our educational model was developed to serve the needs of today’s children in the unpredicatable world that is emerging today. Drawing on the most up-to-date knowledge and experience in the fields of education, parenting, psychology, biology, science and spirituality, it is truly global and holistic. For more information, visit Journey To Brilliance.
How aligned are you with the state curriculum? How do you teach reading and maths?
We offer the same range of subjects as most state schools. But we differ in the way children learn those subjects. As much as possible, we teach every subject via practical experience and highly engaging activities so that the learning is enjoyable, practical, deep and permanent.
If the children are having so much fun, are they really learning?
It has been proven that ‘play’ is the most effective way to learn. When people are happy, they are open at all levels of their being. When lessons are boring, irrelevant or just too hard for a student, they close their mental and emotional centres down so that learning becomes much more difficult.
How are children assessed? How much emphasis is there on tests and exams?
We do not use standardised testing. Our experience shows that comparative assessment is a poor guide for parents or employers and causes incalculable damage to the self-esteem of most students. Student progress is continually monitored and recorded across all aspects of our curriculum and used by educators to evaluate and guide their students’ growth.
How do you fit Building Brilliance, Socio-Literacy and Eco-Literacy into the curriculum?
These advanced curriculum subjects are learned mostly by experience through the culture, processes and learning approach of the school. Rather than taking time away from the learning of standard subjects, they guide and enrich the curriculum and enhance our students’ ability to learn.
How much freedom does my child have to do what s(he) wants?
It is important that children are guided on their educational journey, because too much freedom too soon causes them to struggle. Educators use their personal and professional experience to identify and respond to each child’s current abilities, skills, knowledge and qualities to ensure that learning is constantly positive.
What is your policy on the use of computers in school?
We are aware of the education and communication benefits that computers provide. On the other hand we are also aware of how addictive they can become and the associated health issues that come with extended use. We promote the use of technology only when it is the most appropriate tool for the job.
What’s your policy on homework?
Seven Oaks students do all their work at school. However, when students request homework to progress a certain skill, this is provided.
Do you request or allow parent involvement? Is there a PTA?
Parents are encouraged to formally participate in their children’s education via twice-yearly STEP (Student/Educator/Parent) meetings. The school Board has ten members, seven of whom are parents. All parents are invited to attend our Community Circle meetings to discuss school issues and plan community events.
How does Seven Oaks deal with conflict?
A peaceful, friendly, respectful and supportive atmosphere for all students and staff is a core value of Seven Oaks. Behaviours that disrupt the learning environment or use power to hurt or control others (bullying) are unacceptable. When bullying occurs our first priority is to protect the recipient.
We are well aware that conflict is a natural part of life so rather than repressing or denying it our approach is to accept and to work with conflict constructively as an opportunity for growth. Ultimately children are fair and want to know how to move towards peace after conflict. We use conflict situations to help them identify their feelings, gain understanding of how another person feels and work out between them what they can do to move toward resolution or compromise.