Grow Slow – Grow Strong
The Rainforest School grew from our conviction that young children need time for play. Our school motto is “Grow slow, grow strong”. We value childhood as a precious gift that is bestowed on us for such a brief time in our life. A child’s imagination is so powerful, that while engaged in play, they can experience feats far beyond their capabilities. The Rainforest School offers students an educational program that allocates time for play-based learning. During early childhood, each child will develop a readiness to read and it is our teacher’s role to observe the cues which indicate this stage in development. This is a biological milestone determined when their sensory-motor systems are well integrated. Support for this comes from physical movement such as skipping, hopping, catching ball and fine motor activities such as cutting with scissors, kneading dough and digging in the garden. We believe that children have an absorbent mind and if nurtured, will instil a life-long love of learning.
Our Teaching Methodology
Our teaching is child-centered, with a balanced mix of hands-on, real-life and explicitly taught lessons. We use age-appropriate pedagogy to provide challenging and stimulating learning experiences and to develop our student’s capacity to play an active role in their own learning. We strive for our students to become creative, innovative and resourceful individuals who can draw on their knowledge and experience to solve problems. The classroom layout is designed to support our teaching practice and has many learning spaces for our students to use. Our flagship kitchen/garden program provides students with real-life skills and daily nutritious vegetarian meals. Our whole school reading program gives students access to the essentials of effective, evidence-based reading instruction matched to their level of reading development. Our units of work and community projects are selected or developed around our four pillars: connection, community, creativity and conservation. Our lessons ensure students have opportunities to plan activities and communicate ideas both independently and collaboratively in teams. We believe that learning is a continuum and we strive to ensure that every student experiences success as they progress on their individual learning journey.
Our Unique Culture
The Rainforest School resides in a high-set Queenslander with a wrap-around verandah. The atmosphere is homely, with consideration given to beauty, simplicity and the use of natural materials. We encourage intrinsic motivation so that our learners can reach their full potential. Fostering authentic relationships and the use of restorative practice assists our students to build on their social and emotional knowledge. Student well-being is a priority at our school as we understand that it leads to successful learning. During our morning circle time we promote and support a growth mindset and relationship building by providing a safe space to plan, implement and reflect. During our afternoon relaxation time – either inside the classroom to the sound of live classical piano or outside in the rainforest to the sound of bird song and the meandering creek – our students are able to calm and clear their minds. It is this unwritten curriculum that helps to create the unique culture of The Rainforest School.
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