The classroom is a learning community.
Westside School is committed to the belief that we are all inquirers, thinkers, risk-takers, well-balanced, and caring individuals. Our instructional design promotes and encourages student interaction and collaboration. The classroom becomes a learning community.
Beyond content, Westside School recognizes that play is a critical aspect of cognitive development and socialization. As many schools are limiting or cutting recess from the school day, Westside believes that students need to have unwinding and reflecting time. Recess gives children opportunities to build trust, resolve conflicts, and provide support for others. Additionally, the physical opportunities for exercise and running beyond the allotted P.E. classes promote and improve many aspects of physical and psychological health.
Cooperation spans the interactions on the playground and is one of the best researched teaching strategy. Students, who have opportunities to work collaboratively, learn faster and more efficiently, have greater retention, and feel more positive about the learning experience.
Associating an idea with asking a question, through inquiry-based projects, students become excited about solving a problem or addressing an issue they find meaningful. Nurturing inquiring attitudes enable individuals to continue the quest for knowledge throughout life.
Together with collaboration, inquiry facilitates group discussions, enlist help and shares the credit. This understanding of other perspectives requires the generating of many unique ideas. Thus divergent thinking leads to combining those ideas into the best results. Those results may be the production of something original and useful. Creativity is born.
Westside students begin collaborating in play which extends into the classroom's lessons. They develop flexibility, agility, and adaptability, with a sense of courage to explore and experiment. This independence of spirit allows students to use creativity and innovation to produce things that are unique and that have value and meaning. All this builds to a fundamental understanding of individual responsibly, with the interests and well-being of the larger community in mind.