The Power of Small Schools

IMG_2381When you arrive at BISS, the sense of community is palpable.

Near the front gate, 5-year-old girls play an invented game of tag, trust and fantasy with 11-year-old boys.

Across the school, buddy language sessions allow children to work with older students who share the same mother tongue. In their dominant language, students delve into literature, work on projects and share discoveries.

Read on for more examples of cross-age learning!

P1070142-10glhas-300x225 Later, a Design/Technology class of 15 year olds arrives in Pre-K with their own handmade toys, built after many weeks of research, engineering, refinement and reflection. Puzzles, blocks and rocking horses fill the Early Learning Centre, as generous teenagers give away their prized creations.

 

At playtime, Grade 1 students negotiate rules, organise teams and play soccer with children twice their age.

Later, Ms Atkins (Secondary School teacher) coaches elementary students on dramatic techniques to communicate concepts of power, justice and equity.

IMG_2524After school, activities are open to multiple grade levels. Regardless of experience or ability, every player on a competitive sports team is valued and celebrated.

And, as the day draws to a close, children shout farewells across the playground.

Because, at BISS, everyone knows your name!

In small schools, cross-age relationships and flexible learning experiences result in strong social skills, high self-esteem, tailored instruction, and a deep sense of belonging. What a wonderful place to learn and grow.

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