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New Earth Children Workshop

Guiding principles

 

― Children retain information but we must remember they also retain feelings.

Allowing freedom to think, feel and be - is just as important as the knowledge we share. 

Tany Fitiavana's key concept is to honor the organic learning and the natural flow using a holistic approach. This will always be visible in all different areas of the school and in its whole environment.

 

Through our eyes organic learning happens when there is no dictated course of action to approach a challenge or only one solution to a problem. The goal is to offer limitless space for a child’s curiosity to do the work and to give them the chance to create innovative paths.

 

Children often ask “how do we do things” or “what do we need to learn to create something”.

Instead of guiding towards using our own solutions we give them the opportunity to tap into their own potential. During this process of connecting their own dots and using their creativity is where the children find their own difinition of natural flow.

We believe that by asking “how do you think it could work?“ or “what is in your opinion that we need to make it possible?“, we empower them to trust their intuition. This method creates a space for the children to leap into their imaginations and own capabilities.

― Through our eyes there exists no creative 'wrongs' ―

Often for us adults it is an “unlearning” that needs to happen. It can be very challenging to stay true to our values and goals even when organizing the most beautiful learning experiences. At the same time we can use our own development, our behaviour and the way we process difficulties as examples to all those around us in order to help navigate safely and blossom through challenges and negative feelings.

― We do not need to educate our children, they copy everything we do anyway. ―

Karl Valentin

We, the grown-ups, who participate in the day-to-day school life, strive to fully embody this learning approach as well as to respect and nurture all our core values whilst using reflection as a tool for mutual regard. If needed we are also available to help, support and of course share our knowledge.

 

The granting of autonomy and the possibility to interact and thrive with likeminded humans in a peaceful and loving environment is the foundation for our children’s education, which we envision to create every day.

― EDUCATION IS NOT PREPARATION FOR LIFE, EDUCATION IS LIFE ITSELF.

Margaret Atwood

The description of the eight New Earth Skills

Our definition of a holistic educational approach

Reference to the requirements in connection with the school board of Zürich 

Chapter on our New Earth certificates and transfer to a state school

 

 

TOUCH ALWAYS COMES BEFORE SIGHT, BEFORE SPEECH. IT IS THE FIRST LANGUAGE AND THE LAST, AND IT ALWAYS TELLS THE TRUTH.

Margaret Atwood

New Earth Skills

These skills form the fundament for all of the different structures within and outside of our school's environment. They stand for our vision of self-love and serve as inspiration to all of us to be the green vanguards of the future. We support and encourage Tany Fitiavana's children to trust and use all their senses during their learning/living/playing. It is, after all, through being creative and doing hands-on activities that the new earth skills flourish.

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practice mindfulness

Look inside and welcome awareness, resilience and flow. Observe your emotions and those of others. Be aware of your personal impact on the community and give yourself time to understand and internalize how you process your feelings and learn best.

 

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Holistic approach

 

― Holistic education is about creating experiences that leave footprints on the mind, the body and the soul. ―

Whole Beings

 

We believe connectedness is a child's natural state of feeling. This form of being was nurtured for around nine months during their time in the mother’s womb. Our duty is to continue to take care and to nourish this sense of wholeness and, through a holistic approach to education, strengthen this bond between mind, body and soul.

 

This form of approach encourages a child to value themselves, their worth, and recognize their abilities and how to be able to do what they truly want to do in life, all in balance with their spirit and the outer world. Rather than concluding that all children are the same type of learner based on only one learning rhythm, a holistic education acknowledges that children work at different levels and speed. It is our view that, in order for children to develop academically and intellectual in harmony we have to view them as individuals with individual needs and individual learning preferences.

 

If you research holistic education you will discover that it characterizes and references anything that is considered 'whole'. Many schools with different learning programs include a holistic approach in their teachings. In Tany Fitiavana we have created our own version of it and what it means to us.

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As mentioned in the prospectus 'living is learning' and as a school we will never cease to learn and develop ourselves. We accept the challenge to support our children the best way possible on their path through life. Recognising that change is inevitably a constant reminder to continue educating oneself further and never stop reflecting our beliefs and actions.

 

Every child is born beautifully unique. Our role as the grown-ups, parents and community of Tany Fitiavana is to motivate the children to focus on the present moment. Being in tune with themselves when they look at the moon, swim in the lake, paint with the hands and look for wonders is essential. If we encourage them to stay in the now during any kind of this experiences by trying to use always the present tense, it will be natural for them to never seek happiness in the future but rather find it within themselves.

 

In our eyes holistic learning is a 'tool' that helps a child find their own meaning and purpose in life and it offers guidance from the mind, body and soul.

― A healthy outside starts from the inside. ―

Robert Ulrich

 
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Curriculum 21

 

―  Education is an open, lifelong and actively structured human development process. ―

Curriculum 21

Not long ago children in Switzerland were viewed as an efficient, small adult versions of employees. After the implementation of the factory law in 1877, child labor was prohibited in Switzerland. Around the same time mandatory schooling was introduced, first only for the boys then later for the girls. Childhood was accepted as a development phase in the life of a human. Society began to value the positive effects of education during the time of rising industrialization and embraced the teachings of certain values of great importance (compliance, diligence, cleanliness and resilience to name a few). Since then, society's views have shifted again and new insights about alternative education, spirituality and sustainable development are being shared and supported by many renowned psychologists, sociologists, pediatricians and teachers.

 

― Education enables the individual to explore as well as to evolve its potentials in spiritual, cultural and practical life skills and to create an own identity through the interaction with itself and the environment. ―

Curriculum 21

The curriculum 21 determines the objectives for the teachings of all levels of schooling and is a planning tool for teachers, schools and educational authorities. It offers all learning communities, schools and parents orientation of competencies to be achieved and time required to complete the program as well as components during the elementary school level. We orient ourselves according to this planning instrument and complement it, by always trying to adapt a holistic approach and using autonomous learning as our basic learning tool. Through this approach we acknowledge every child as a 'whole' by taking into account that all of them may need different learning timetables. 

 

 

- Private schools must orient themselves towards the curriculum 21 for elementary schools in the canton of Zurich. They may set priorities, especially in terms of content and of an educational, ideological, religious or denominational nature.-

Directive for private schools from the Zurich school board

 

Tany Fitiavana has strong roots intertwined with nature. We acknowledge the emergency call of the future by promoting the concept of sustainability and respect towards our blue planet, our greatest value. Thus we attach great importance to the positive impact of our trade on the environment, our surroundings and fellow creatures. In this way we promote a zero waste and recycling culture within our learning environment. In addition, we consciously select seasonal, fresh and organic ingredients from a plantbased source.

 

Our goal is also to create an environment, where we encourage autonomous and free learning through the whole developmental process. Believing in our children so that they know what they need and what they want to achieve through the day is empowering and we encourage them to stay happy and successful learners.

 

Therefore, the main focus of our school lies in pedagogical and content-related matters.

 

 

- There is a reference to curriculum 21 for the elementary school of the canton of Zurich. -

Directive for private schools from the Zurich school board

 

The Tany School implements the curriculum 21 in various ways in its learning environment and teaching. All the teaching materials prescribed by the school authorities can be found in Tany’s external and internal surroundings. In addition, learning materials and the school settings are selected and prepared according to the guidelines and competence development of curriculum 21. The normal Tany school schedule is enriched with different courses from the teachers and Tany’s community, which are inspired by the intrinsic interests of the children. In these courses, the curriculum 21 can be found in different ways. They are also adjusted monthly in relation to the development-oriented approaches. This means that the content provided by the curriculum is offered in an inspiring and diverse learning/school environment. In camp and project weeks as well as through numerous excursions, technical and interdisciplinary skills are practiced and our learning opportunities expanded.

 

 

―Each child is a unique being with a spirit that radiates love and divine purpose.―

 

TRANSITIONS & CERTIFICATES

 

―  When families decide to be a part of our school program they do not only choose a learning method

but they also try their best to nurture a sustainable lifestyle,

cherish our core values and thrive with us as a community. ―

Tany Fitiavana

The experience of other schools with a like-minded pedagogical orientation have shown that a successful transition from a standard elementary school to an alternative school is rare but possible. An example of this is the Villa Monte in Galgenen, which exists since over 37 years. A preparation phase of six months prior the transition is recommended in order to allow all persons involved to prepare the process and guarantee a smooth change of environment. By orienting our teaching to the curriculum 21 of the Canton of Zürich, the integrability to the school system of Zürich can be ensured. Nevertheless, for the child to have enough time to adapt emotionally it is very important to consider our time requirement.

 

― It is evident how the integrability to the school system of Zürich is ensured. ―

Directive for privat schools from the Curriculum 21 of the Canton of Zürich

 

The basic concept of our school Tany Fitiavana is a free learning idea taking into account our school schedule based on the curriculum 21 of the canton of Zurich. Still, we do implement every day rituals such as joint meditation, cooking, lunch and snack breaks as well as other activities. These small but significant daily traditions create a harmonious rhythm through the day and can be used as points of orientation by the children and adults. As for the journaling, to us it is an important tool that helps children on their journey of self-awareness as well as a relevant guidance instrument for the learn report.

 

This report is also required for a successful transition and crucial to our semi-annual gathering with the parents. At these meetings with the children and their parents we go through the journals while outlining and honoring the individual learning path up to now. We also review and jointly determine the development priorities in the coming semester. We accompany and support our children by helping/letting them write down their inner goals as well as highlighting possible wishes for their professional careers. The learning report is than built around these topics and consists of the formative and summative clarifications of professional, personal, social and methodological competences.

 

These are our 'new earth' ways of certificates intended to empower Tany Fitiavanas children by honoring their strengths and accompanying them on their mindful journey in search for their intrinsic value of life.

 

― A child who practices mindfulness welcomes awareness, resilience and flow. ―

THE MOST DANGEROUS PHRASE IN OUR LANGUAGE IS - WE'VE ALWAYS DONE IT THIS WAY.

Grace Hopper