OUR BASIC PRINCIPLES:
Safety - Diversity - Wonder - Confidence - Passion - Freedom
People, especially children, feel safe if their needs are seen, heard, and understood. If children’s need to play is taken seriously, they can explore and have time for themselves and their own development. A supportive environment, where you don’t have to fulfill imposed expectations, provides the safety in which your development is indeed given its due.
Everyone is different. Everyone has other interests, capacities, and ideas, a diverse cultural background, and a different age.
This great diversity of people creates a rich environment. Each individual contributes the activities, qualities, and knowledge necessary to form a learning community, together.
By exploring each other’s boundaries, differences, and ways to deal with them, children learn to respect themselves, others, and their diverse environment.
Development begins with asking questions. Sometimes you are consciously and actively looking for an answer, and sometimes it just comes to you without effort. Children – and teachers – are therefore given space for wonderment, active investigating, and continuous experimenting so that they can follow their own questions. In this way, they develop a natural self-awareness and take their next steps from there.
Children naturally trust their own abilities, and this trust is reinforced and increased if they are allowed to design their own environment and development - if they are indeed heard and seen.
If you trust your own abilities, you can also trust other people's abilities. It is, therefore, essential that parents* and teachers trust their own capabilities and those of the children as well.
If you can experiment with what your heart tells you, you can learn what is important to you. Every desire that comes up is then experienced as a challenge and can be realized within the boundaries of the school’s possibilities (budget, rules, and agreements). As your desires come true, new desires will emerge, connecting you even closer to your passion. This way, you grow in what you are good at and what you enjoy.
The freedom to be themselves gives children the insight that what they do has consequences for the environment in which they live. This makes them feel connected with themselves, others, and the agreements they make.
You are free to act until you overstep another person’s boundary. These confrontations make you aware of what you do. ‘My freedom ends where your boundary begins’ means everyone respects the freedom of the other. If this still leads to a clash between one person’s independence and the boundaries of another, the other can indicate their boundaries are being overstepped by saying “stop.”
In our school, this agreement is called ‘stop=stop’.
If the ones involved cannot work it out together, an incident can be brought forward to the mediation circle. This circle decides on the consequences of non-compliance with agreements.
* Parents refers in this text to parents/guardians.