Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Blue Gum Year in Pictures

It doesn't seem like all that long ago that Riker was heading off on his first day of preschool, but Thursday was the last day of the school year already.

Parents and students alike were looking forward to receiving a special memento at the end of the year - the Blue Gum portfolio.

 Riker was so excited to get home and unwrap his gift!

 He carefully set to untying the string holding the package together - his name tag, the envelope with a copy of the music the children recorded for their chocolate machine performance at the school concert, and the portfolio itself.

The first page of the book featuring a quote that serves as one of Blue Gum's guiding principles. "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." - WB Yeats

 In many of the pages Riker is (not surprisingly) wearing red and he enjoys finding photos of his closest friends. 

One of my favorite pages in the book, a series of photos documenting Riker's explorations with a set of dominoes.

 Admiring a page with his teacher Subhadra.

Another of my favorite pages, this one showing the creative process and the final work of art.

What a big year it was for Riker! So may new experiences, new friends and new milestones. 

I can't say enough good things about the teachers at Blue Gum. The school's paradigm is based on the notion that all children are competent, capable, creative, responsible, resourceful and resilient. This is reflected in the language used with the children, the meaningful activities offered, the decisions they are allowed to make, the theories they test and the media they explore. The teachers model ways in which the children can assert their feelings, needs and concerns in a responsible way. They respect each student's contribution to the program yet challenge them to grow and extend themselves and they support students to handle difficult situations in their own time and in their own way.

Many thanks to Subhadra, Rozanne, Jane, Sam, Ally, Elyse and all the other terrific teachers who were part of Riker's educational journey this year!

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