Instilling Confidence through Social Emotional Learning
Social and Emotional Learning
The Centre School places an emphasis on all types of learning, and acknowledges that without social and emotional stability, children are not able to thrive academically. We enlist parents as partners to support their child, while we educate students about their own potential.
Research shows that promoting social and emotional skills leads to reduced violence and aggression among children, higher academic achievement, and an improved ability to function in schools and in the workplace. Students who demonstrate respect for others and practice positive interactions, and whose respectful attitudes and productive communication skills are acknowledged and rewarded, are more likely to continue to demonstrate such behavior. Students who feel secure and respected can better apply themselves to learning.
Schools that feature multi-year relationships among students, teachers and parents offer profound academic and social and emotional advantages over single year schools. They provide:
• personalization of learning for each and every student
• more efficient use of time, greater emotional support for every child
• more pro-social learning
• more acceptance of responsibility by students
• more enthusiasm for learning
• more productive and harmonious relationships between parents and teachers
reference: “Why Parents Who have Experienced Multi-Year Classrooms for Their Children Love Them!” by David Marshak
Small Class Size
Most parents claim their foremost reason for choosing SSCS is the small class size. We see significant advantages to the individual attention each child gets in the classroom with dedicated teachers who follow their progress and offer opportunities to further skills when she/he is ready.
Social Skill Development
Since the school’s inception we have developed tools to help children communicate effectively and solve social conflicts with confidence. Our Peacekeeping Script is introduced as a model and as the children practice, they become experts at listening, brainstorming solutions, mediating for their peers, and assuring resolution of feelings.
We encourage parents to come take classes, read or watch videos, and we have had several workshops for teachers to use compassionate communication in the classrooms. We have had wonderful testimonials from parents, alumni and teachers who refer to the Centre School students as exemplary models of peer counseling in middle and high school.
We base much of our day to day and yearly decisions on the notion that each child is to be honoured and revered for his/her human potential and unique qualities.
We use the vocabulary of the Virtues Project (www.virtuesproject.com) to help children identify characteristics and motivations in their relationships. By pointing out when we notice a child displaying “courtesy” or “generosity,” the child hears validation for her/his action, as well as learns to identify moments to practice.
Roots of Empathy
A wonderful program which instills compassion and empathy towards infants, we have welcomed Roots of Empathy (www.rootsofempathy.org) facilitators each year into our Heron (Grade 3) classroom. The students observe and record changes in a baby’s growth and development and acquire lifelong skills in compassion and empathy.
Mindfulness and MindUP
Our student’s days are enriched by participation in the Mindfulness (http://www.mindfulschools.org) and MindUp Programs (http://thehawnfoundation.org/mindup/). Practicing Mindfulness helps children reduce stress, improve concentration, and improve academic performance.