At Natural Dynamix, our fundamental philosophy and approach to education, is a conscious awareness of the learning environment required for optimal learning in a child, that encourages individuality, inspires the child and creates a love for learning. We believe that a child’s education should equip them with all the knowledge, skills, understanding and attitude they require to be successful in the world today.
This conscious educational approach is evident in the structure of our classes, the way our lessons are conducted, the techniques used by our facilitators and our assessment methods. Our conscious approach aims to unlock the potential in each child, to encourage active participation and experiential learning, encouraging inquiry, solution-focused thinking and creativity.
We consciously develop in each child a strong sense of self, positive attitude, confidence and the communication skills that allow them to successfully develop and maintain relationships, deal with conflict, ensure cooperation and collaboration in their interactions.
HOW CONSCIOUS EDUCATION IS REALISED IN OUR SCHOOL?
Emotional intelligence is used to support learning in all classroom and play activities. Information passes through our limbic brain (emotional centre) before it can be processed in the prefrontal cortex. Optimal learning can only take place when the emotional brain feels safe and supported. Language is used consciously by our facilitators to ensure that it builds self-esteem and confidence and doesn’t break it down, that it invites co-operation and not resistance in the learning process. Emotional intelligence is consciously developed in children from preschool. This empowers them with skills to maintain relationships and personal competencies such as internal locus of control, self-direction, adaptability, initiative, achievement orientation and resilience to successfully manage life’s challenges. Children are able to explore their own identities and find their authentic self in a positive, accepting and nurturing environment.
Small integrated classes include mixed grades, spanning 3 years in a class of 12 to 16 children. This allows for a more natural exploration of all learning outcomes in a phase (eg foundation phase) without the limitation and pressure of enforced learning and assessment in a particular grade. Children enjoy the challenge of extension and comfort of support in different learning areas, as it is required.
Dynamic learning creates excitement in the class, which allows for natural absorption, processing and retention of the information. It encourages further inquiry and organic learning. Lessons are taught visually, verbally and experientially, accommodating multidimensional exploration, naturally moving from one subject to another within a given topic, e.g. the spice route topic included history, language, geography, and culinary skills. We encourage a natural organic flow in learning, as children give input into topics and through their questions, become catalysts for areas of exploration that interest and excite them. In this way, learning becomes filled with wonder, inspiration and enthusiasm, while all learning outcomes are achieved in an integrated manner, that is relevant to their world.
Play is a fundamental part of learning. It is a prominent thread through all that we do at Natural Dynamix. ‘Play allows children to use their creativity, while developing their imagination, dexterity, physical, cognitive and emotional strength. Play is important for healthy brain development. It is through play that children engage and interact in the world around them’. American Academy of Paediatrics
"Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire" -William Butler Yeats
Communication is key for relationship building. Relationships are what really count in life to be successful and happy. We have developed a communication process at Natural Dynamix, designed for children to have a voice and be heard. Children are encouraged to ask questions, and express emotions, opinions and care in a respectful manner, thus building self-esteem, assertiveness and skills for managing relationships and conflict resolution.
Multi-age classes and project based activities allow children opportunities daily to interact with and work together with children of different ages, teaching patience, support, tolerance, and the value of teamwork. It builds confidence, team spirit and strong bonds and connections as children learn and grow together. This mirrors what will be required of them as adults, to successfully integrate into a workplace environment, work in teams and manage others to achieve results.
Value in self develops value in others, and value for all things living. Consciousness is an integral part of survival. Teaching our children this, is securing their future health, wealth and wellbeing. Consciousness is instilled in all we do, encouraging it to become second nature. Children naturally become more aware of their impact on the environment and those around them. Awareness, responsibility and sustainability form part of their understanding, as they participate in projects within the school and wider community, to create awareness and contribute to a more eco conscious world. All children participate in organic gardening at Natural Dynamix, growing their own fruit, vegetables and herbs. Our aim is to grow organic seasonal vegetables for the community.
"And we're seeing a higher level of consciousness and many more opportunities for people to challenge their present ways of thinking and move into a grander and larger experience of who they really are." ~ Neale Donald Walsch