Frequently Asked Questions
Why have multiage groupings?
Age does not determine the skill level of a learner. Multiage groupings provide a flexible setting that recognizes a learner’s various developmental levels and learning styles, as well as honours the diversity in the group. There is a strong emphasis on respect for others, and there are frequent opportunities for the development of learner leadership as learners are encouraged to offer and request support from each other in all activities.
What are the benefits of a small school?
In our learning community, learners are well known by their educators and peers. There is a high level of individual attention on a daily basis. Our educators are more able to deal directly with social, emotional, and academic challenges as they arise. They also provide the framework for learners to work through situations, and encourage them to reflect on their outcomes.
Why use an emergent curriculum?
At IELC, education draws forth and inspires by allowing learners to construct knowledge and learn in ways that are meaningful to them. Young people are vitally interested in knowing how the world works; they learn most deeply and thoroughly when learning arises from their own questions, concerns, and investigation. We encourage learners to explore their surroundings, manipulate and experiment with tools and materials, and ask questions. This allows learners to follow their imagination and encourages self-expression through art and dramatic play. This approach to education optimizes their natural learning abilities. educators respond sensitively to a learner’s style and rhythm of learning, and prepare the classroom environment in accordance with careful observations of a learner’s activities, interests and needs. At IELC, we focus as much on the learning process itself as we do on the content, providing learners with the skills and abilities to learn in any environment.
What about academic skills?
In order to work with learners on building a foundation of academic skills, we offer both structured and unstructured activities throughout the day. We infuse academic learning such as reading, writing, math, and science skills into our play-based approach to learning. Some skills are educator directed; educators are always aware of each learner’s learning styles, interests, and needs. We also offer experiential and real life learning experiences, such as cooking, community exploration, experiments, group building projects, playful word games, board games, etc.
What does assessment look like at IELC?
The purpose of assessment is to give each learner, their educators, and family an authentic picture of the learner’s present level of understanding and growth. Learners are assessed through portfolios of learner work, dialogue, self-reflection, and ongoing observation.
IELC is considered a Funded Independent School. As educators, we are required to document how we are meeting the learning outcomes of the Manitoba Curriculum and are required to provide report cards three (3) times a year. At IELC, the report cards will be strictly anecdotal. Learners, families and educators will have input in the learning goals set for each term. These goals will be social-emotional and academic in nature. Student success of these goals will be evaluated with the above mentioned assessments as well as dialogue between learners, families and educators.
If individual learners are reading or doing math at a higher or lower level than their peers, how will their needs be accommodated?
Inspired Explorations Learning Community starts with a learner’s strengths. learners at higher levels are met with appropriate curriculum to match their level. With a low learner to educator ratio, we can provide personalized learning that meets the learner where they are, and invite them to explore further. We also plan many of our explorations from a whole-child or holistic perspective. Learners can find meaning in the learning from the perspective of their strengths, but can also build on the areas that are challenging for them as the experiences embody many forms of learning. All learners are celebrated for their unique strengths and there is no reason any learner’s esteem should be compromised.
How do you deal with learners who have special learning needs?
We recognize the benefits of bringing together diverse groups of learners. Consequently, we do not have a profile of the “ideal learner.” As a small school, we do recognize certain limitations when considering learners for enrolment and re-enrolment. While the training and dedication of our educators allows us to teach a variety of learners, some with significant learning differences, we reserve the right to determine whether or not a learner is best served by IELC.