Education on “De Vuurvlinder”
“De Vuurvlinder” (the Fire Butterfly): committed to the development of your child!.
In a dynamic, challenging fashion and in a rich, safe (educational-) environment, children will be guided in a process of development towards being a respectful individual with confidence, prepared for today’s society.
The concept that helps shape our mission and vision: Experiential Education
The base of Experiential Education is the dynamic process between children among each other and between children and teachers. From a well prepared and challenging educational setting and with room for initiative from the children, teachers employ the experiential dialogue to give meaning to the process. Core values are well-being and engagement. These are the prerequisites to be able to learn. The educational process on ““De Vuurvlinder”” focuses on the balance between social-emotional and cognitive development.
Well-being relates to how a child is doing. It arises when the situation meets basic needs, when children dispose of a positive self-image (self-confidence and a feeling of self-esteem) and when children connect with themselves. A high degree of well-being is a precondition for a good social and emotional development. Well-being can be recognised, among others, by signals such as gratification, enjoyment, having pleasure, relaxation, and showing inner peace, being energetic, resilient and assertive.
Involvement relates to how a child acts. It is a special form of activity that shows in a concentrated, continuous and “losing track of time” activity. Signals of this involvement include: energy, creativity, complexity, accuracy, mimics and attitude, concentration and perseverance. Involvement comes to life when the activity connects with the exploratory drive and when the activity lingers at the border of their individual possibilities.
Involvement increasing factors and related organisational structures.
There are 5 factors contributing to the process of development within a rich learning environment, through well-being and being involved:
- A good atmosphere in the group and relations that are both relaxed and contributing to development;
- Working at the level that a child can cope with and is challenging at the same time;
- Work that is close to reality and therefore interesting for children;
- Possibility to be active, truly do something themselves;
- Room for own initiative.
In the process of implementation, the five factors evolve towards 5 basic work forms that can be considered as the building bricks of a primary educational model that offers enormous opportunities for “well-being” and “involvement”.
Circle times, aimed at atmosphere and relations:
These are moments where a class or a group of children come together to exchange thoughts and experiences, eventually based on a previously chosen theme. Interaction between pupils mutually and between pupil and teacher. Examples are among others: weekend circle, circle of choice, news circle, evaluations circle but also forms that go beyond the smaller groups such as week opening and -closing, as well as month end.
Contract work, aimed at work on individual level:
This is the organisational structure where teacher and pupil agree on instructions and personal tasks via a job sheet or a planning board (group 1/2). The job sheet mentions on which topic they will be working in a certain period (part of the day, day, week) and which tasks they have finalised. Instructions and alignment with (individual) educational needs are being planned within the Contract work. The intention is to have pupils work at their own level but in conformity with the educational targets. The disciplines that are part of Contract work are: reading, arithmetics, grammar, spelling, receptive reading, world-orientation and studying skills.
Project work, aimed at connectivity with reality:
Children discover the world around them. This discovery arises when certain questions, problems or themes that they come across (through for instance their teacher or the news) appeal to them. Project work takes shape through exploring the information (research) and the processing thereof in different ways (reporting). Examples are: themed corners, excursions, visiting lecturers, class- or school wide projects and projects in writing. Project work can be linked to world-orientation.
Workshops, aimed at creative or expressive activities:
A work form mainly aimed at learning by doing. On the creative level this is done through getting acquainted with different kind of materials and the working possibilities thereof.
In the area of expressions pupils develop through an active attitude during theatre or music workshops. The workshops at “De Vuurvlinder” are often transcending groups but sometimes also organised by class.
Free activity, aimed at students free initiative:
An organisation in which children can choose from a relatively wide range that is tailored to their needs. This is subject to minimal constraints. The objective is to encourage children to take the initiative to play or to do an activity. The tool they use is a form with which students learn to plan, take care of material and assume responsibility within their own initiative.
Result oriented work at “De Vuurvlinder”
Research shows that there is a positive correlation between a result oriented school and learning outcomes of their pupils. Schools where pupils perform better, evaluate the learning outcomes of their students more often and draw conclusions from the data. Teachers in these schools have high expectations of pupils and attune their lessons on the differences between them. Pupils with special educational needs, get those teachers who have the required, specific knowledge.
On “De Vuurvlinder” we made the switch from activity-oriented to result-oriented education. The teacher does not start with “What are we going to do today”? But precisely with: “What are we going to learn?” In this way the instruction is always linked to the learning target.
After the instruction, the teacher takes the time to immediately give the pupils effective feedback on the process. The learning target is always evaluated after an instruction and the processing thereof. This is to check the output, to determine a new starting situation and to stay in touch with the curriculums.
At school level this way of working translates through the analysis of the Pupil and Education Monitoring System of Cito (LOVS). This is an important instrument in the cyclic look at results and educational development. Analysing the key data, drawing the right conclusions and processing of the consequences are integrated into daily actions and in the quality policy of the school.
Action oriented work at “De Vuurvlinder”
The following principles are leading to satisfy the educational needs of our students from the base of action-oriented work:
- The educational needs of the pupil are crucial.
- The teacher matters.
- There is attuning and interaction between teacher, child, parents and mentors.
- Positive aspects (stimulating factors) are of major importance.
- Our actions are goal oriented.
- We constructively work together; there is interaction.
- The working method is systematic and transparent.
During a two-year training program of the expertise centre E.G.O., the team has acquired the skills for action-oriented work. Principles and agreements are implemented in the support structure and working method.
During this implementation we searched to find a balance between lesson preparations through a work letter and group work for a particular discipline, in order to match our offer to educational needs. This has led to “Group In Focus” in which the offer for all pupils, organised in different instructional groups takes shape.
“De Vuurvlinder” offer
The way of working at the De Vuurvlinder is secured by:
- The concept of Experiential Education
- Result oriented work
- Action oriented work
The offer, hence the contents of the different disciplines, is provided through modern and attractive methods. A brief overview of the most common methods in “De Vuurvlinder”:
- Toddler Square
- Safe Learning to Read
- Active Language
- Calculation Empire
- News concept XL
There is a wide range of development materials, learning materials, training software, intensification and broadening offer. This is tailored to the educational needs of all our pupils.
At De Vuurvlinder the children in group 1/2 are sitting in heterogeneous classes, i.e. in one classroom with children from group 1 and with children from group 2. The main reason is that children of this age learn a lot from each other. Moreover, organising the teaching of groups 1 and 2 works very well in a heterogeneous composition.
The children of group 3 t/m 8 are in homogeneous classes. This is a conscious decision intended to respond as effectively as possible to the educational needs of all children. In a homogeneous group there is more time and room to work with small instruction groups, extended instructions and individual assistance. Differentiation and alignment are centre stage for the purpose of cognitive development.
For socio-emotional development, it is important that children do not always work together in the same composition or only with peers. Children learn from each other and help each other to develop in different areas. This works of course with children of the same age. But especially children of different ages have to offer each other something else. Hence the focus of some of the organisational structures:
- 3 Master projects are organised across the whole school (start-up camp, Christmas celebrations and cultural events).
- The creative workshops are school wide (group 1/8) if and when they fall under a Master project. In all other cases they are class- or parallel group oriented.
- The expressive workshops are organised cross classroom or parallel group.
- Project work is organised by class or class-transcending. During the Master projects this is organised school-wide.
- “De Vuurvlinder” afternoon is organised 3 x per year and school-wide. Each class has a range of activities that are not usually discussed during workshops or project work.
- “De Vuurvlinder-visit scheme is an option where children work in another classroom up to 3 times a year and on their own initiative.
A disadvantage of homogeneous groups may be that there is a class hierarchy, because group 3 to 8 remains together. To break patterns and to give opportunities to children in varying compositions, we choose to regroup classes again after group 5. Children are therefore up to 3 years in the same group composition. We reserve the right to regroup classes earlier if there is a need.
In groups 7 and 8 teachers stay in principle with the group. This is a deliberate choice in order to safeguard the advisory process for secondary education.
Student tracking system
The curriculum at “De Vuurvlinder” creates a good balance between social-emotional development and cognitive development. To secure this, both developments have to be followed. The instruments deployed to that effect are:
For cognitive development
- Pupil and educational tracking system from CITO (LOVS) for group 1/8.
- Non-school cognitive abilities test (NSCCT) in group 4.
- Entrance Test CITO in group 7.
- Dutch intelligence test for education (NIO) in group 7.
- Final test CITO group 8.
- Registration through “toetsmap” and digital registration system Eduscope, for group 1/8.
For social-emotional development
- Toddler square
- Questionnaires per pupil in Viseon of CITO, to be completed by the teacher, for group 1/4.
- Questionnaires per pupil in Viseon of CITO, to be completed by both the student and the teacher, for group 5/8.
- Registration through “toetsmap” and digital registration system Eduscope, for group 1/8.
Needless to say we also want to communicate with you as parents on the progress of your child(ren). We do this several times a year through conversation opportunities and reports.
- Group 1: home visit or introductory conversation, 2 x oral report, 2 x opportunity for a one on one conversation.
- Group 2 t/m 7: introductory conversation, oral report focussed on social-emotional development 1x, written report aimed at social-emotional development 1x, written report focused on cognitive development 2x, possibility to call 2x.
- Group 8: introductory conversation, written report focused on cognitive development 1x, conversation to discuss school advise, Result CITO final exam, written report focused on social-emotional development 1x.