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The younger kids take the stage at the Science Fair to receive their accolades. Kindergarteners at the Mayan Celebration. School Plays: The Gift by the Youngers Sports Day: Words of encouragement for the younger boys

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The Philosophy of Pacific Spirit School

Environmental Sustainability & Social Responsibility

The New Learning Society Board has identified environmental awareness/sustainability and social responsibility/social justice as priorities for the students of PSS. In alignment with our philosophy, we believe that children who develop deep, compassionate ways of relating to themselves and others are more likely to acquire a well-developed sense of concern for the welfare of others and for the environment around them. PSS students learn about this through diverse activities and age-appropriate discussion.

Pacific Spirit School supports children in developing the foundations they need to live genuinely fulfilling lives. Research, experience, and wisdom tell us that this fulfillment grows out of a deep connection with oneself and others, based in compassion, respect and curiosity. Everyone associated with PSS including the Board, educators and parents:

  • encourage children to follow their own curiosity about the world, guide them in discovering their own ways of learning and support their natural pleasure and excitement in learning
  • believe that children learn best in small classes that are responsive to their current interests, feelings and needs
  • strive to be models for the children in our love of learning and in how we relate to them, to ourselves and to others
  • value the growth of the whole child, nurturing each one's emotional, social, mental, physical and spiritual life.

Solid in their relationships with themselves, others and their own learning, children grow to become compassionate leaders, able to positively influence the world on whatever the path they choose to follow.

Philosophy

The growing body of research informs us about the personal characteristics and skills that are most likely to lead to living a fulfilling life. This lays the foundation for intellectual and technical competence as well as social competence which underpins each child's ability to lead themselves and others. Unfortunately, most traditional formal learning settings do not provide an environment or a curriculum that is well suited to the development of these characteristics and skills. Children are increasingly being pressured to digest more information at younger ages without any evidence that this enhances their well-being or fulfillment either in childhood or later in life. In contrast, we are learning that emotional and interpersonal skills have a profound impact on the child's well-being and later fulfillment in life.

Our model is thus one of fulfillment rather than academic excellence, but academic excellence is more likely to be achieved in a balanced way upon this foundation. You may appreciate a similar perspective articulated in an entertaining and insightful video with Sir Ken Robinson titled, Do schools kill creativity? (external link)

We are unapologetically idealistic, but solidly grounded in the realities of the classroom and the world. Children typically spend over 12,000 hours of their lives in school, and our intention is to continually challenge ourselves to consider how those hours are used.

Pacific Spirit School is aligned with the Child Honouring Covenant and Principles (external link) articulated by child advocate and entertainer, Raffi Cavoukian, C.M., O.B.C., D.Mus, D.Litt., author of the new book, Lightweb Darkweb: Three Reasons to Reform Social Media Before it Re-Forms Us.