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The Synergy Schooling Approach to Learning and the Curriculum

For more details on the Emergent Curriculum see here. Our approach to the way in which we run the school and the design of the curriculum is based on the Principles of the Synergy Schooling Approach. These are:

      1. Focuses on the quality of relationships

        Synergy Schooling fosters the patterns, behaviours, understanding and skills needed to be in effective relationships throughout our lives. We integrate differences rather than having the pretension to eliminate them. We give value to negotiation as a 'strategy of the possible'.

      2. Develops core values of dignity, respect, integrity, confidence and creativity

        These values inform the content of conversations and encounters, as well as our behaviours and relationships as educators. Each person is supported in building self-esteem and sense of personal identity and core being. It is the search for the self as well as for the other and others that surround each individual.

      3. Incorporates the current and traditional educational expectations of primary and high schooling

        We work with current educational systems to ensure maximum choice and options for further learning. We focus on the synergies between relationship, academic, and content learning approaches.

      4. Draws on a range of learning experiences

        Our methods include group work, casual conversation, play, activities, formal work, work with individuals, and case work. We also work with ordinary life experiences to create further learning opportunities. We use conflict and negotiation as drivers of growth, and build specific skills to facilitate this. We encourage individuals to develop and articulate their own views and understanding.

      5. Encourages enjoyment and brings a sense of achievement

        We encourage laughter, enjoyment and fun, and develop these aspects as central to positive self-development and the schooling experience.

      6. Takes place in all settings and times

        We recognise the importance of the unexpected, and create an environment where there is no such thing as wasted time. Teachers know how to give all the time that is needed. We recognise the unpredictability of 'learning moments'. Here emphasis is placed on the questions, issues and feelings that are important to the individual, rather than what we think might be significant.

      7. Works through and is driven by dialogue, conversation, communication and language

        Conversation is placed at the centre of the activities. The quality of communication reflects the quality of the relationships.

      8. A culture of living and learning

        We regulate the relationships between the individual and community in which he or she lives in such a way to strive toward a place where culture is constructed and democracy is put into practice.

      9. Involves active participation and active learning

        We value creating a sense of belonging, not only for families but for everyone. We provide for a vision that engenders a sense of indefiniteness and ample spaces of possibility.

      10. Develops partnerships

        The responsibility for learning is shared. At the same time the teachers shape and construct this learning environment. Partnerships are developed between learner and teacher, teacher and community, teacher and parent and between learners themselves. It is a choral effort with the participation of everyone, open to others, open to doubt, and open to acceptance of error and uncertainty.

      11. Views teachers as dynamic people, facilitators and coaches

        Teachers recognise and discover ways to communicate and document the children's evolving experiences at school. The challenge is for teachers to initiate and nurture situations that stimulate learning appropriate to each child's needs. Teachers offer themselves as resources to enrich the learning experiences of those in their care.

      12. Accommodates family life

        We work to create partnerships with parents and caregivers and take into account the practical demands of family life

      13. Encompasses a life-long process of learning and of learning the process of life

        This approach supports personality development. Our individual construction exists with others and through others during encounters with the physical world, and through communication. We have the right to be who we really are, and we help make one another who we are by how we treat one another. These experiences help individuals grow in all aspects; in knowledge and skills, in health, in feeling and judgement, in sense of responsibility, and in creativity. It is life long education.

         Such a school requires careful thinking and planning concerning procedures and methodology. It works to develop ways of getting along together, of enhancing relationships among children, teachers and parents, while at the same time assuring complete attention to the issues of education.

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The life capabilities we in the school aspire to:

CREATE MEANING: This is the capability to feel that their life has worth and meaning. It is a unique process and different for each child. It is recognition of one’s value and worthiness and the ability for a child to feel create their own understanding of themselves and their environment and the dynamic interaction of them both.

ATTITUDE: The mind set of one’s perception of one’s life view/ meaning. The listening you have, or choose to have.

ACTIVISM OR CHALLENGE: The capability to realise and be active in one’s truth and meaning while maintaining core values.

SELF-DIFFERENTIATION, SELF-DISCILPINE and SELF MOTIVATION: The ability to perceive oneself as a differentiated being. This perception is reflected in a person with high self esteem and their ability to stand on their own. It views the motivational force, driver and passion as coming from within and not as an external source or need of others.

JOURNEY TO AWARENESS: The capability to become aware of self, others and of their surrounds. It is seeing the connections and effect of one’s living. Taking cognisance of one’s presence, actions and thoughts. Not necessarily understanding them.

RELATIONSHIPS: This is the capability to relate to and interact with others and capability to form meaningful relationships.

APPLYING KNOWLEGDE WITH UNDERSTANDING TO CREATE WISDOM. Applied information is knowledge. Applying knowledge with an understanding of it creates wisdom.

COMPASSION: the capability to resonate with passion and sincerity with another and share an understanding of their state of being while at the same time standing for their greatness and limitless potential.

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The skills and competencies in the child that the school will support and guide are:

ANALYTICAL ABILITY: the raising of cognition and consciousness. The strengthening of thought and abstract thinking. Includes concepts like reflection, comprehension,

FRAMING AND PROBLEM SOLVING: The skills to understand their role in conflict, their understanding of it and a process to work through resolving it.

COMMUNICATION: The skills to effectively articulate their thoughts and being. The skill to engage and share with another.

INTER-RELATEDNESS/ TEAM: The skill to engage with another person or group while being able to self differentiate.

CREATIVITY: The skill to use and express an innate ability. The ability to find a variety of ways of expression.

RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY: The skill to align actions with consciousness, understanding and intent.

AWARENESS: The competency to see (acknowledge) self, others and their surrounds. It is seeing the connections and effect of one’s living. Taking cognisance of one’s presence, actions and thoughts. Not necessarily understanding them.

ATTITUDE: The mind set of one’s perception of one’s life view/ meaning. The listening you have, or choose to have.

RESILIENCE: The ability to maintain meaning through hardship.

EXPRESSIVENESSskill to translate one’s interpretation for others to understand.

CURIOSITY AND LEARNING: A competency that reflects an openness and willingness to learn and develop and to continue reflecting on ‘truth’.

SELF-DIFFERENTIATION: The ability to perceive oneself as a differentiated being. This perception is reflected in a person with high self-esteem and their ability to stand on their own. It views the motivational force, driver and passion as coming from within and not as an external source or need of others.

COMPETITION AND ACHIEVEMENT: The ability to take measurement of one’s skills (not one’s worth) in relation to others.

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The skills and competencies that the teachers require and will develop:


ANALYTICAL SKILLS: The capacity for higher cognition and consciousness. The strengthening of thought and abstract thinking. Includes concepts like reflection, comprehension. The ability to reason, theorise and develop concepts through thought. Ability to translate awareness into action plan.

RESEARCH/ ENQUIRY: The capacity for searching for knowledge and understanding. The capacity for continuous learning and educational growth.

FACILITATION AND COACHING: The capacity and skill of empowering, guiding and supporting the development and growth of individuals, teams and systems. Creating an environment of life-learning. Ability to create awareness in others.

AWARENESS: The competency to see (acknowledge) self, others and their surrounds. It is seeing the connections and effect of one’s living. Taking cognisance of one’s presence, actions and thoughts. Aware of their influences on others. Be able to be the observer of what happens.

INTUITION: The skill to listen to details and trust the apparent illogical.

EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT: The skill of nurturing, listening to and surrendering to energies and situations that work deeper than our consciousness. Awareness of the issues that appear incomprehensible.

COMMUNICATION AND ARTICULATION: The skills to translate and understand thought and intent accurately into a language medium to convey or interpret meaning.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: This is the skill to implement their own life learning, either of themselves or work. An attitude of continuous learning which leads to vision and purpose.

CREATIVITY: An ability to convey information, knowledge and meaning in diverse and multiple ways. The ability to translate imagination into a transferable medium.

ADMINISTRATION AND DOCUMENTATION: The capacity to document and articulate ones thoughts and work coherently and effectively. The capacity to handle resources in an efficient manner.

RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABLILITY: The skill to align actions with consciousness, understanding and intent.

TEAM DEVELOPMENT SKILLS: The capacity to develop a group of people as a unit. These include problem solving, conflict resolution, framing, contributing to team, vision, and communication.

SELF DIFFERENTIATION: The capability to perceive and understand one self as a connected individual in a larger setting. Being aware of the one’s relating to others.

ATTITUDE: The mind set of one’s perception of one’s life view/ meaning. The listening you have, or choose to have.

COMPASSION: the capability to resonate with passion and sincerity with another and share an understanding of their state of being while at the same time standing for their greatness and limitless potential.

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The skills and competencies that the parents require and will develop to support the development of their child:

ANALYTICAL: The capacity for higher cognition and consciousness. The strengthening of thought and abstract thinking. Includes concepts like reflection, comprehension. The ability to reason, theorise and develop concepts through thought. Ability to translate awareness into action plan.

COMMUNICATION: The skills to translate and understand thought and intent accurately into a language medium to convey or interpret meaning.

COMPASSION: the capability to resonate with passion and sincerity with another and share an understanding of their state of being while at the same time standing for their greatness and limitless potential.

ATTITUDE: The mind set of one’s perception of one’s life view/ meaning. The listening you have, or choose to have and embracing the differences between other people's varying attitudes.

PARTICIPATION: The capability to share/ be involved and convey interest in another’s creation of meaning while supporting self differentiation:

AWARENESS: The competency to see (acknowledge) self, others and their surrounds. It is seeing the connections and effect of one’s living. Taking cognisance of one’s presence, actions and thoughts. Not necessarily understanding them.

SELF DIFFERENTIATION: The capability to perceive and understand one self as a connected individual in a larger setting. Being aware of the one’s relating to others.

We have truly left behind a vision of the child as egocentric, focused only on cognition and physical objects, and whose feelings and affectivity are underestimated or in some way diminished.

Welcome to Synergy School.