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The Brookstone Difference

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At Brookstone, students are encouraged to listen to and follow the calling of their hearts, free to learn in a self-directed way, at their own pace and as per their individual interests. As such, Brookstone students are deeply engaged and invested in their own learning. And with genuine real-world connections to their learning their character development occurs through a rich understanding of the true meaning of citizenship. As they learn to demonstrate mutual respect and empathy towards themselves, each other and the broader community, they have the opportunity to become

compassionate individuals… together, and develop the critical thinking and leadership skills that will prepare them for success now and throughout their lives. As students learn to persevere through challenges, take intellectual risks and become resilient, at Brookstone, they are supported to grow into our world’s much needed, much in demand, creators, problem solvers, innovators and leaders.

 

Come see what your child can do at Brookstone Academy! 

Our Pillars of Education

Click on each icon to learn more about our philosophy.

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Research Based Programming

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Igniting a Child’s Passion for Learning 

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Social-Emotional Learning Support

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Learning to Collaborate and Think Critically with Compassion

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Progressive Physical Environment

Technology is used as a tool to support student learning

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Access to Outdoor Education

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Multiple Intelligences are Honoured & Developed

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Assessment

& Evaluation

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Support for Every “Type” of Student

Library Books
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Research Based Programming

The Brookstone program, for students in Kindergarten through Grade 8, is ground-breaking and comprehensive. It was created by combining the best elements of the most successful research, and solid evidence-based teaching strategies and philosophies of education. So what does all that mean? You’ll find an explanation of how each theory plays into the Broosktone philosophy as you read through the other links. But, most important for you to know, is that it means your child has access to an incredible educational program that will fuel their love of learning and help them be the best they can be! 

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Igniting a Child’s Passion for Learning 

Children are naturally inquisitive and they are far from blank slates! Our teachers, therefore, encourage and build on a student’s curiosity and prior knowledge, by allowing a student’s interests to guide what is learned, and then structuring the learning environment to allow for knowledge discovery and creation. Where necessary gentle guidance is provided through carefully selected provocations in the classroom environment. Taking each individual child’s background knowledge and previous experiences in mind, teachers ensure students have access to meaningful Experiential Learning tasks with just the right amount of challenge to keep students engaged, yet able to experience a sense of mastery as they pose questions, investigate, experiment, reflect, solve problems and actively create new knowledge. As such our teachers are more of a “a guide on the side” or  “an active partner” in every students’ education, depending on what the situation calls for. In order to enable this kind of individualized attention the teacher student ratio is kept low. There are never more than 10 students per adult in the classroom and often more than one adult per 10 students. 

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Learning to Collaborate and Think Critically with Compassion

At Brookstone, students are given daily opportunities to work individually where appropriate, but more so students work together in partners or in small groups, across grades, with an emphasis on shared problem solving as they discover new knowledge and construct meaning together.* This approach is inspired by the Constructivist Theory of Education. While Constructivism began decades ago, its principles form the foundation of all the best educational programs in the world today. When students have ample opportunities to work cooperatively like this, the critically important 21st century learning skills, now known as the 6 C’s of education (collaboration, critical thinking, communication, creativity, citizenship, character education) first noted by Canadian educational researcher Michael Fullan, are skills that students have exposure to and the chance to develop on a regular basis. In this way, at Brookstone, students can develop the “soft” skills they need to be successful in our tech based, fast paced, ever changing society and become our worlds much needed compassionate leaders and innovators. Character education and citizenship are further developed through group social justice projects that focus on addressing a need in our or the broader community and working together to make a real difference in a lasting way.

Children Learning

*Covid 19 protocols are diligently applied to ensure everyone’s safety. We will continue to find ways to work together, even if it is a little further apart, while maintaining government mandated protocols.

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Technology is used as a tool to support student learning

Recent research has demonstrated that used correctly, the embedding of technology in the learning environment is beneficial to student learning.  At Brookstone, students have regular access to a variety of tech (PC’s, iPads, Chromebooks) as per their comfort level and learning needs. As they learn to navigate its responsible, safe and efficient use, students have the opportunity to use technology to not only research, but collaborate and communicate their learning. Students are exposed to all the apps needed for success in high school and beyond, such as word processing programs, presentation software and Google drive. 

Children on Computer
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Multiple Intelligences are Honoured and Developed

Students at Brookstone have opportunities to engage in learning in all the usual subject areas of the public school system (Math, Language, Science, Social Studies and French, Phys Ed and Health) but there is also an emphasis on the Arts, with daily opportunities to engage in meaningful Art, Music, Dance and Drama activities. As per Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, all “abilities” are honoured and students are given opportunities to develop “intelligence” on many levels and in varying areas. And as such, as opposed to studying subjects in isolation, students have opportunities to develop skills in overlapping areas and in meaningful real-world, project-based contexts

Intelligences
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Support for Every “Type” of Student

The Ontario curriculum is used as a guide to ensure students will be prepared for success in high school, however, at which time certain grade levels/topics are focussed on will vary from one child to another as per their interest level and competency. Where a child is struggling they will be given more time and varying ways to master concepts. Where a child is excelling they will be given opportunities for enrichment. As such, our little school is a great place for ANY child, but in particular children that are not thriving in a traditional school environment for any number of reasons such as lack of engagement, need for enrichment, learning difficulties, emotional and/or sensitive children, social issues, mental health challenges or any other neurodiversity. 

Happy Kids

As we endeavour to guide “whole” children, the Brookstone program also includes social/emotional learning. We support students to develop emotional self-awareness, an understanding of the importance of self-care and self-regulation skills and the development of empathy and compassion for self and others. While we feel the importance of allowing students to develop these skills is self-evident, there is research to back us up on this as well! It has been well documented that students that have strong social-emotional learning skills are better able to engage in learning and acquire new knowledge. More importantly, as students develop their ability to persevere and increase their resilience, they have a better chance at navigating through life’s challenges and becoming happy, well balanced adults. At Brookstone, students have daily opportunities for introspection/reflection and to learn positive coping skills and stress management through the application of mindfulness strategies, yoga, meditation and discussion, if they so choose.  

Social-Emotional Learning Support

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Girl Meditating
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Progressive Physical Environment

Much has been written about the importance of the physical environment of the modern classroom and its impact on learning. In keeping with the huge benefits shown to stem from the use of flexible classroom strategies, at Brookstone, every student will have access to a variety of learning areas and options every day. Students can choose whether they would like to learn at a traditional desk, a table, a standing desk or a low desk that accommodates being seated on the floor.  As well there are options for students to spread out and work in an area of the floor. In terms of seating choices there are lots of options there too! With yoga balls, wobble seats and cushions available for use in place of a traditional static chair, or for floor seating, pillows, bean bag chairs and floor chairs are available. There is also a “chill zone” with calming activities that includes a tent where students can have a moment to themselves if/when they feel they need it.  A variety of sensory tools and fidgets are also readily available for throughout the classroom for students that feel it benefits their self-regulation and concentration. 

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Access to Outdoor Education

Located in a peaceful country setting, surrounded by nature and farms, our program is also infused with numerous opportunities to engage in outdoor education which has been shown to be a benefit to students in numerous ways. Or students can simply just enjoy the stress reducing, peace and tranquility that comes from being in nature.  In addition to scheduled outdoor activities and play time, students have the choice to step outside and breathe in some fresh air as they feel the need. 

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Assessment and Evaluation

At Brookstone students are observed and guided on a daily basis. Once they have mastered certain skills, teachers will select appropriate follow-up activities as per each student’s interests. Students are always challenged just the right amount, within their Zone of Proximal Development, so their interest and motivation are always at their peak but they are also able to experience the feeling of accomplishment continually as they successfully complete tasks and activities. Teachers observe and record detailed information about a students progress through anecdotal notes about a students observed performance, through conversations and interactions with students and through a students performance on tasks, activities and projects. Grade levels can be used as a reference point when discussing student progress with parents, although student achievement is NOT evaluated through the use of grades and levels, but rather on a student by student basis, by activity, and as a student develops a portfolio of their work. Parents are kept in the loop of their child’s progress through formal meetings, ongoing discussions and the use of technology. Throughout the process students also learn to take responsibility for their learning through self-assessment and reflection and peer assessments. Assessment and evaluation in this way, is an integral part of the learning process and delivered as a celebration of what has been achieved and a series of next steps that a student can take to further their learning. 

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