“The shift to a more globally robust economy depends largely on the development of new knowledge and technology. To remain relevant, public education needs to shift its focus from what students know to what students can do with what they know."Nova Scotia School Board Association, 2014
Who or what are our students?
Attending the Booker changed my life. – Booker alumni
At the Booker we see each child as whole and capable right from the start.
First and foremost, we keep our students safe. Only when you’re physically and emotionally safe can you be yourself and take the intellectual risks our program requires. Because each child’s gifts, passions and quirks are honoured and cultivated in a caring, home-like environment, they blossom – often in unexpected ways. Consequently, our students are authentic open-minded risk-takers.
Excellence and joy are the result of our very creative and challenging curriculum that emphasizes guided inquiry-based learning and engages students in the process of learning rather than just receiving content. Our students are never bored.
Our classes are small and each student is coached to become an independent learner who understands their own strengths, weaknesses and passions. The ability to out seek, evaluate and communicate information is a critical skill in our information rich world. So - instead of simply imparting information, we teach children how to attack and solve problems and to approach learning holistically, creatively, collaboratively and with confidence. Our students are definitely confident.
Consequently, our students ask great questions and become expert at finding answers and owning their knowledge. Challenge becomes a good, invigorating thing rather than a threat, and novel and complex information becomes exciting instead of intimidating. Because of our approach, our students meet and exceed Nova Scotia’s curriculum and learning outcomes. They are curious and knowledgeable. They are the equal of their peers in other provinces and countries.
At the Booker we all use our hearts as well as our hands and heads because learning isn’t just academic. To be educated citizens it’s necessary to be principled, to have empathy, integrity and, importantly, to act. With each Action Cycle, our students are empowered to actively do things that demonstrate their learning.
Our students themselves have organized a Hunger Banquet, an Empty Bowls benefit concert and a 24 hour famine, held a Marathon of Silence for kids in Syria, written, composed and performed an original musical about the environment, cleaned Huntington beach of massive amounts of debris, staged a flash mob on election day, restocked fish habitat, adopted endangered species, written Federal, Provincial and Municipal leaders and affected change, modeled the United Nations and much more. In three years they’ve independently raised over $10,000 for local, national and international individuals and organizations of their choosing. Our students are caring human beings and they are becoming involved citizens and leaders.
We don’t know what the future will bring, but we do know that the ability to collaborate and negotiate, to respond creatively, to reflect and take ethical positions, to express oneself using both traditional and digital media, to embrace entrepreneurship, intercultural understanding and environmental stewardship are aptitudes our young people will need to acquire to take their place as citizens in a global community. Our students are unquestionably preparing for the future.
Whoever and whatever they may be, our students are engaged individuals who care deeply, who think critically and who are becoming.
“I feel like this is my real world! My world! The whole planet. Like asking questions. Because it’s so new to ask questions."Pre-K, Student
“Let me make mistakes! Let me learn!”Engaged Student, 2015
“Bloom where you are planted."Author, Unknown