About The Native School

Our Philosophies

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“Every child, like every human being, is the constructor of knowledges, competencies, and autonomies”

- Reggio Emilia Approach 

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Reggio Emilia Approach - 100 Languages of Comprehension and Learning

Honoring a Reggio Emilia approach, our students navigate their unique journey of learning through exchanges between themselves and their environments, their social contexts and relationships, and relationships within themselves. Their teachers are intentional in the knowledge-building process, embracing students’ diverse ways of thinking and making meaning where knowledge is embodied and constructed. 

It is our belief and guarantee that each experience presented to us outdoors can be harnessed as a learning opportunity. With each students’ hundred languages or hundred ways of thinking, comprehension can be tapped into organically. Genuine learning emerges from our student’s findings within the environment and is carefully integrated and curated to invite deeper learning including the integration of CA state standards of education, Creative Curriculum, Social and Emotional Learning and Environmental Stewardship all in the form of emergent learning, provocations, and planned activities. We utilize these provocations or invitations to learn to document and assess the growth of each child to ensure that all students’ unique learning styles are engaged and advancing

The Power of Positive Guidance

As a school and passion driven child program, we wholeheartedly believe in the importance of supporting the growth and development of the whole child. This is not limited to academia, nor is it as simple as exploring the outdoors. It also includes the importance of scaffolding children’s social and emotional learning which includes supporting students as they practice skills of self regulation, empathy, building relationships, and making responsible decisions. Like other strategies of incorporating curriculum into our teachings, we use Positive Guidance and a Trauma-Informed approach to foster understanding, growth, and development in these areas for all students with the goal of guiding students as they are learning the complex social and emotional processes of everyday life.

Stewards of Nature

Being an outdoor school, not only do we emphasize the importance of state standards of education, curriculum, and social and emotional learning to support the whole child, but we also share the importance of lessons regarding protecting our environment, our nature classrooms, and the life within it by being as eco-conscious and mindful as possible in our activities, practices, and presence on and off of the trails. Our students discover their passion for protecting the animals and life around us as they develop a deeper understanding of our mutual responsibility to care for our environment in and out of class. Our teachers embody the same dedication and are committed to sharing these important lessons through their classroom practices of leaving no trace, only taking what is needed, and giving thanks to the land we are privileged to occupy. Teachers make an informed effort to not only teach these lessons, but also explain the “why,” encouraging empathy in all students.

Self Determination & Risky Play

As students explore and learn from their surroundings, they are also enhancing their fine and gross motor skills, learning how to problem solve and increase their self-confidence as they participate in “risky play.” Risky play permits students the freedom necessary to empower themselves, assess and become aware of their abilities, their choices, and calculate decisions promoting self-reliance and resilience.

At The Native School, Your Child Will...

  • Engage in experiential, place-based learning

  • Learn the alphabet, sight words, rhymes, and sounds through songs, modeled and shared writing, games and emergent writing activities

  • Understand whole numbers and the importance of sequence, symbols, and patterns

  • Enhance the engagement of all senses particularly while exploring their natural surroundings

  • Make heartfelt connections between ancient storytelling and nature

  • Spot native flora, fauna, and edible plants

  • Learn primitive skills such as shelter and fire building, animal tracking

  • Apply the scientific method

  • Learn to use a map and compass

  • Become an expert on local ecology

  • Develop excellent locomotor skills and confidence in their abilities through risky play

  • Become champions of cooperation, teamwork, and supporting others

  • Develop strong social and emotional skills including self-awareness, resiliency, and empathy

  • Understand "bird language"; local animal calls and movements

  • Become a steward of the environment

  • Develop a heartfelt connection to lifelong learning and understanding the natural world