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Teaching and Learning

The Philosophies that Drive Fernbrook School

We believe that all children are unique individuals who learn in different ways.  

With the rise of social constructivist theory (Vygotsky) and fully realised by Loris Malaguzzi in the preschools of the Reggio Emilia movement, educators were finally able to see how these beliefs about children and the importance of creativity translated into practice. 


The Fernbrook School Philosophy is influenced by;

Reggio Emilia (the Image of the Child/The 100 Languages of the Child – The Arts)

Social Constructivist Learning Theory

Positive Psychology (Martin Seligman)

The importance of the Natural World in education

Humanist principles (Collectivism/Restorative Practices)

Play Based/Experiential Learning Theory

Teaching and Learning: Welcome

We are guided by the following beliefs; 

That all children are unique individuals who learn in different ways and at their own rate

That all children benefit from holistic education (intellectual/emotional/social/physical)

That all children learn best when happy and engaged

That all children have a right to be accepted for who they are

We see ourselves as a dynamic and vibrant alternative to not only mainstream schools, but also to other independent schools. ​

Fernbrook School facilitates student-led learning across three multi-age classes:

Junior Class

Our Junior Class, consisting of students in Foundation and Grade One, are guided and supported in play-based learning each day. There is a strong focus on the Reggio Emilia approach to learning that fosters the belief that our students in their current context are capable members of society that can make meaningful contributions to the Fernbrook and wider community. Student learning is cultivated through play-based teaching and is largely student-led.

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Middle Years

Our Middle Years Class, comprising of Grades Two to Six, provides a multi-age learning setting that promotes positive connection and relationships as the conduit to effective student learning. Project-based learning evolves throughout a student's years in this group as they prepare for the High School. Students engage with individual and mentor-led projects both independently and collaboratively with peers. These formative years also call for intentional instruction in Literacy and Numeracy so that our students develop these important life skills.

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High School

Our High School class includes Grades Seven to Eight. A more prominent focus on project-based learning is incorporated into the teaching and learning. We find this way of learning emulates closely the general demands and pressures of the workforce once those opportunities are pursued by our students. Our students develop both independent and collaborative learning skills and they also engage in literacy and numeracy learning in targeted groups.

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Teaching and Learning: Activities
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