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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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Programs at Pacific Spirit School

View the weekly schedule for each age grouping:

Programs and information we have available for adults:

Pacific Spirit School's Elementary Program

Based on our philosophy, and due to our small school population Pacific Spirit School offers low class sizes and integrated age groupings in which our educators give children what they need when they need it. In fact, multi-age elementary classes offer an excellent alternative to same-age class groupings for a number of reasons that contribute to the social, emotional and academic growth of children.

At Pacific Spirit School, we have two such groupings of children: Kindergarten to grade three (primary) and grade four to grade seven (intermediate). These groupings provide many benefits, the two most important of which are that these groupings:

  • allow for children with a wide range of abilities and developmental readiness to have a positive experience at school, and
  • foster the development of social responsibility as children mature.

There are many additional social and emotional benefits inherent in the multi-age classes for both younger and elder children.

Younger Children
Benefits for Younger Children

In this setting, younger children are cared for in a more attentive way than is possible in a peer grouping with one teacher. Each child receives direct mentorship frequently from older students and can benefit from elder child role-models. In addition, younger children can engage in more complex social activities than would otherwise be available to them.

Benefits for Older Children
Elder Children

Conversely, elder children's innocence is prolonged through:

  • they have access to younger children's play and they become conscious of their own play, behaviour, and language as they perceive themselves to be role models for younger children, and
  • they gain a sense of responsibility, which adds meaning and purpose to their daily activities, ultimately enhancing self- esteem.

Through this experience, elder children develop leadership skills, empathy, compassion and an inherent sense of social responsibility.

Multi-Age Group of Children

Multi-age groupings encourage students to learn at the level at which they are most comfortable. This means that those who wish to work beyond their age/grade have the opportunity to do so, and those who need to work at a slower pace may participate uninhibited by prescribed curricular expectations. Students who are able to work in this way are interested in the learning at hand and the sense of competition that creates "winners" and "losers" is greatly reduced.

Multi-age groupings also allows for fluid movement among the primary and intermediate groups. For example:

  • a grade two student may join in with an "elder" math lesson, and
  • an elder student may coach a grade-one reading lesson.

Discipline is naturally enhanced in such a situation, as older students wish to exhibit their own skills, and younger students feel a sense of privilege about joining in with the elders.

A question commonly raised is that of curriculum requirements and whether these can be met successfully in a multi-age setting. Our experience as educators at Pacific Spirit School has proven the answer to be a resounding "yes". By working at their own pace within a multi-age grouping, children gain many of the academic and life skills fundamental to success and fulfillment.