Vision: To value diversity and to develop curious, confident and connected learners
The Balmoral School curriculum is based on research and current educational thinking. It has been developed using the New Zealand Curriculum and the five identified key competencies:
• using language, symbols, and texts
• managing self
• relating to others
• participating and contributing.
The school has developed its own key habits based on the competencies.
• Managing self
People use these competencies to live, learn, work, and contribute as active members of their communities. More complex than skills, the competencies draw also on knowledge, attitudes, and values in ways that lead to action. They are not separate or stand-alone. They are the key to learning in every learning area.
The school has also developed some values which are deeply held beliefs about what is important and are expressed by how we think and act
Manaaki, Respect: We are all different. We show tolerance, understanding, care for others, ourselves and our environment.
Mana Tu, Integrity: We stand up for what we believe. We strive to be fair, courageous, and humble. By being honest and reliable, we do what is right and right our wrongs.
Tō tātou, Inclusiveness: In this place each of us is an integral part and we are welcoming. We work as a team and learn together, include everyone and value our diversities. We know we belong.
Manawaroa, Resilience: We maintain a growth mindset, learn from our mistakes and persist to succeed. We are optimistic, celebrate achievements and keep our sense of humour.
Children need an environment that places no barriers on their learning. They need to learn in meaningful, real-life, challenging contexts. Children need to have some control over the direction of their learning and be able to ask and answer questions that have meaning and relevance to them, as well as their parents and teachers.
Children must learn in depth, see the links, think and solve problems and hopefully create new knowledge for themselves and others. Children need to learn about themselves. They need to realise their personal strengths and weaknesses and to develop their emotional intelligence. In a changing world the truly knowledgeable person is the one who will succeed.
The school is developing its understanding of how to teach across the curriculum with an inquiry approach. The teaching philosophies of Reggio Emilia, P4C, current research around teaching and learning, internationally and within New Zealand, are supporting us in our thinking.