The Dragon Lower School is a community and environment that cultivates independence and lifelong learning through individualized experiences that integrates and connects knowledge and skills.
DRAGON ACADEMY LOWER SCHOOL
Grades 4, 5 and 6
The world is an interesting and diverse place; your child has a unique set of skills and goals. How does The Dragon Academy Lower School cultivate and nurture their spirit and help prepare them for excellence? The Dragon Lower School is a community and environment that cultivates independence and lifelong learning through individualized experiences that integrates and connects knowledge and skills.
Lifelong Love of Learning - We love learning, and we believe that happiness and success rely on celebrating discovery, exploration and analysis. This celebration and love of learning is not some rarefied experience that only a few who fit the traditional school mold can achieve; it is something that we know can be created for everyone in our community. How can we be so confident that our students will love learning?
Individualized Programming - While there are skills and experiences that are important to the core learning experience, we individualize the approach to those experiences for each child. We recognize that each individual has a unique background, and different learning style, and will need to invest different amounts of time on their journey. The classroom program and materials are structured to support this diversity. While we cultivate skills to learn in a variety of ways, you should never expect your child to be stuck on a topic without support for their unique needs. Beyond approaching common learning with diverse approaches, we follow students' passions for topics that are important to them beyond the core learning goals. Rather than shut down conversations with “that isn’t part of the course”, we make time to follow lines of questions to broaden and generalize our learning skills and share individual interests. What does it mean to be able to follow a particular topic and how do we still address key topics?
Integrated Programming - Classifying subjects is important for libraries and organizing information, but, a key Dragon Lower School difference is that we recognize and cultivate the interconnectedness of knowledge. It's this approach that lets us develop literary analysis skills through books that matter, not just conventional text choices. As an example, you can expect that when we study ancient civilizations, we will connect the events to the people, to geography, to the science, and to the math. We reduce the role of rote memorization and cultivate understanding, connectedness and curiosity, following individual interest while incorporating important ideas. There is more to how we think about subjects than cross-curricular integration.
Experiential Learning - Experiential learning means that we begin topics with physical models, visits to to the ROM, class discussions and more. These techniques help your child internalize and connect to ideas, an invitingly accessible approach. They are a natural part of learning, and an effective bridge to the abstractions that become powerful ways to reason about the world and with each other. The process from experience to abstraction makes sense, but, how does the classroom even work with all this individual focus?
Community - In our classroom we have a responsibility to each other. This responsibility is expressed in how we treat each other, how we communicate with each other, how we support each other. At various times all members of the classroom will take on role of teacher. At all times we focus on respect and celebrating each other’s success, excellence and differences. Discussing and understanding responsibilities and roles doesn’t stop at the classroom. Community extends to our wider membership in neighbourhood, our citizenship in our country, and our role in the wider global community. Okay, but, what does success at Dragon Elementary look like?
Independence - As our students become part of our community, work through an individualized and experiential program, building on a love of learning, they become independent scholars with the the core skills to understand how to undertake a challenge, solve problems and work with others. In the Dragon environment, it is no surprise they also grow more capable, successful, and independent. It is this independence and love of learning that the Dragon Lower School environment helps each student cultivate in themselves.