Character Education: Members of our community are life-long learners. They understand that learning does not just happen at a desk, but extends beyond the classroom. Every moment holds potential for learning, but above all we need to foster a comfortable learning environment. Certain attitudes and behaviours are essential for this.
We believe that attitudes can and should be taught explicitly. We include lessons, activities and discussions based solely on character traits, attitudes and social skills necessary for successful relationships with our peers.
Also, we reserve the right to “Stop Everything and Deal” - to discuss both positive and negative social issues and emotions. This teaches students to share their feelings and understand the connection between actions and reactions.
As a community of learners, we strive to be:
Skill Development: At HPDS our curriculum and everyday activities are based around HOW to learn, not WHAT to learn. The school year is divided into 5 different themed units, during which we teach a wide range of ideas and topics connected to the theme. (For example, under the theme Communication last year, we taught a unit called Story Telling, during which students learned about different forms of story telling including those from other cultures around the world). We front-load each unit with a series of selected topics, then turn the control over to students! After generating student questions, our lessons become the answers!
We teach students the independent learning skills they need, based on their ongoing development, and guide them to find answers on their own. We adapt our expectations and assessments to meet the needs and growth of each student.
Focussing on self-selected topics and questions is very engaging and motivation for our students, who naturally become able to set their own learning goals and develop a sense of self-awareness as learners.