These are things we celebrate and love about our school and this approach.
Multi-age time at Synergy
I am a new teacher at Synergy. Everyday I am stopped in my tracks as I experience something new and deeply moving especially when it comes to noticing powerful, healthy ways to communicate.
Such was the case when last Wednesday, Synergy held a 45 min multi-age session. This is when small groups of children meet for 45 min at a time every second Wednesday. Each group is made up of children representing all the classes and ages of the school. This was the first session and the task was to, together as a group come up with ideas of what they could do in the next sessions. They had to be activities that could embrace all ages. What struck me was the sensitivity, consideration and repect that passed back and forth between the younger and older children as they brainstormed activities that they could take on.
At one point I heard an older boy of eleven answer a petite little four year old girl who had asked to do ballet, "Mmm,I think it might be possible for us all to do ballet."
"Or," said the petite little girl. "I can learn to do rugby."
So simple, so profound.
We made the best decision!
We have only been at Synergy for a month now and my boys are incredibly happy. The growth we have seen in the month has been so inspiring and assuring that we have made one of the best decisions in changing our boys from a main stream school (Bishops) to Synergy! What a privilege for our boys to experience a system like the Synergy Schooling!
Soccer for Fun
On Monday the Under 9 soccer team played a match for the first time this year. What I love is that anyone who wanted to play got to play in the game. The focus was on having fun. I heard some of the conversation just after the game where kids were being so complimentary to each other and about each other and the way they had played. A healthy sense of competition had excited them all. Of course all the proud (and loud) Synergy moms yelling encouragement from the sideline was delightful.
A box of chocolates
I love watching visitors and new children's faces when they enter our gate and see the playground for the first time. Our school is unassuming viewed from Kommetjie Road and one could be forgiven for being unsure of what to expect. Once you pass the gate and before you lay the scooter track and a giant sandpit with pulleys and climbing frames and trees so perfect for climbing and, and , and... You can't help but be filled with a sense of wonder. (and as an adult a little jealousy that your playground didn't look like that when you were a kid)
From my office I have a great view of the playground and the magic continues on a daily basis when I see children explore and expand their abilities, interact with peers, teachers and their parents, build friendships, learn lifeskills and grow in their confidence and self esteem.
So, that's why I think of our school as a box of chocolates. The good stuff is on the inside.
The relationships I have made with parents at Synergy have been rich and rewarding. You know who you are. I have had amazing conversations, have recieved ongoing support and I know I can rely on you. Thanks for your friendship and always being there. I think this, intuitively, has a positive impact on our children as well knowing that there are play dates and relationships built amongst us. These relationships are founded on trust and trust in the community feeds upon itself.
What a great Journal! So insightful.
I just wanted to acknowledge you for your superb journals! They make for interesting reading and I love your insight into the days activities and the growth of the children.
I am also impressed with the manner in which you addressed the “situation” with Bay and Tahra last week by promoting a general discussion in morning ring.
It’s been a pleasure being a parent in your class so far.
Giving my child the best
My husband and I visited Synergy 2 days before school started and we were assured that the environment and the teacher, Cindy, would be the natural transition for Gilah into a schooling situation. Synergy offers a hands-on, nurturing approach to learning that embodies both the philosophy and the methodology that I want for my child. Having been intimately involved in the education process through home schooling I have found Synergy to provide an extension of learning in a similar loving and nurturing way, that moreover, gives Gilah the space to explore her independence.
A place of Emotional Intelligence
Our youngest 4-year-old son cried every morning and did not want to go to his old pre-school. He was unhappy, that was clear and he did not have enough words to tell mom and dad what was wrong. The misery of the youngest family member made the whole family unhappy. In retrospect, it seems crazy that we did not change schools sooner especially as it only took him 3 days to settle at Synergy. He is now smiling in the morning and what a smile that is; it makes the whole family happy! This year, our middle son has joined Synergy. He is enjoying a new school experience with an amazing teacher who makes every school day new and interesting. Our family wishes that Synergy also had a High School so our oldest son could join. Who knows, the way staff and parents work together at Synergy might make this happen
Synergy as an International School
Synergy is more then a great school with professional and engaged teachers who also are life-coaches. Synergy has become a feel-good place for our whole family. Coming from Scandinavia this is the first school in South Africa we recognize as having a similar philosophy to Swedish and Norwegian schools.”
Support from Synergy
Jason our 3 year old started at Synergy on Wednesday. He has had fantastic support from his teacher Debbie in many respects. The feedback we have had on how he has settled and the information on daily journals have been very encouraging. Kerri, Haley's teacher has also allowed Haley our 5 year old to regularly look in on Jason to make him feel comfortable and to see if he is ok. The interaction, the affirming words, the sms's and phonecalls and the information available make us as parents feel very secure that our little boy is well looked after in his very first experience of school - thanks to Robin, Debbie, Kerri and Annette in particular!!
Celebrating working at Synergy
I am celebrating working at Synergy School because Synergy gives me the space to be who I am and supports me in my studies in becoming a core teacher. I am also celebrating the fabulous staff members we have!
What I am celebrating about working at Synergy
What I am celebrating about working at Synergy:
- having the space to grow and develop as a teacher with great support and many opportuntities
- having parents in my group that care for me and take a genuine interest in my life
- seeing children grow and develop and change on so many levels
- seeing children change from being scared and unsure to being confident, courageous and empowered
- seeing children manage conflict with respect and doing so independently
- being able to create a curriculum for my class that they find inspiring and meaningful. That centres around things that they are interested and motivated to learn about
- knowing and experiencing that with challenges also comes growth. Knowing that I am growing here!
- being part of pioneering an exciting approach to education that deeply values children. Where there is en emphasis on empowering children: respecting them and supporting them to develop powerful communication skills. I love the way that we treat children at Synergy, through this they learn to value each other and themselves!
The thing that I find amazing
The thing that I find amazing is the difference an empowered teacher makes in the classroom. Never before have I seen such growth of children than when their teachers take their own growth on.
Social Integration is one of my favorite parts of the day here at Synergy. It gives everyone a chance to reconnect from the previous day and discuss anything that might be upcoming. It is such a wonderful start to the day and it is amazing to see the fun that the parents have with the learners. A great Social Integration time makes for a really great day. I look forward to many more here at Synergy.