Each new student of school age who applies for the first time at Saplings Nature School for admission, and who has previously attended a public school outside the province of British Columbia, or any private/independent school, shall be registered according to the student’s age (age appropriate placement).
Classroom placement will be based on the best fit for the student. Our program will use multi-age groupings for classrooms.
The Benefits of a multi-age classroom are listed below.
- Students are able to spend several years with the same educator. This allows the educator to develop a deeper understanding of a student’s strengths and needs and is therefore in a better position to support their learning.
- Students have several years to develop, and are able to see themselves as progressive, successful learners.
- Students are viewed as unique individuals. The educator focuses on teaching each student according to his or her own strengths, unlike traditional classrooms that often expect all students to be at the same place at the same time with regard to ability.
- Students are not labeled according to their ability in order to engage them in their personal learning journeys rather than place them in competition with one another.
- Students learn at their own rate.
- Students develop a sense of community with their classmates and teachers. They become a “family of learners” who support and care for each other.
- Older students have the opportunity to serve as mentors and to take leadership roles as they model more sophisticated approaches to problem solving. Younger students are able to accomplish tasks they could not do without the assistance of older children. This dynamic increases the older child’s level of independence and competence.
- The spirit of cooperation and caring makes it possible for students to help each other as individuals, not see each other as competitors.
- Students are invited to take charge of their learning, by making choices throughout their time at Saplings. This sense of “ownership” and self-direction is the foundation for lifelong learning.