Richland Academy recognized as a centre of excellence
Richland Academy is the only Reggio-inspired, International Baccalaureate school in Ontario. (We are in the first year of our IB candidacy.) We are also the top inquiry-based learning school in the Ontario. The Ministry of Education has recently integrated Inquiry-based learning into its curriculum guidelines across most subject levels. This is the instructional method that we have been implementing for the past 7 years at Richland .
Not surprisingly, because of our expertise in this area, there is a lot of interest in our school from other educators, schools, and school boards. We recently hosted a delegation of 35 Kindergarten teachers from Jiangsu Province, China. The teachers were taking a professional learning course at York University and came to our school to view the way teachers at Reggio schools document student learning.
It is always a great experience having teachers from other jurisdictions come to visit the school. We learn a great deal from them, and they learn from us. This group of teachers taught me that the "average" Kindergarten class in Jiangsu Province has 40-45 students with two teachers. Because of the number of students, it is almost impossible for Kindergarten classrooms to be organized in any way other than by placing desks in rows one behind another.
The teachers were interested to see how we organize our Kindergarten classrooms into a number of learning centres with a wide variety of materials and rich learning tasks. The teachers were also impressed to learn that we run our classrooms in an inquiry-based manner while also incorporating daily literacy and numeracy development. And finally, as they toured the school the teachers commented on the beautiful building and the amount of student art on display. They said they could feel that there is a special focus on the arts in our school. The image below is one that was Tweeted out by many of our guests. This is a representation of the Saigeon Trail - the nature trail located behind our school - made in felt by our Junior snf Senior Kindergarten students.
We realize that it is a privilege to work in this beautiful school building and to have small class sizes. We look forward to exchanging ideas and knoweledge with other educators in the future.
Head of School
Head of School