Our Spark Studio combines the best of the Acton Academy learning model with Montessori and Emilia Reggio educational philosophy. This approach to learning emphasizes inquiry-based, child-driven learning, with the Hero’s Journey narrative. At Apogee Cedar Park, students participate in a holistic learning environment, one in which their mind, body, and spirit are cultivated and challenged. Students learn to know, learn to do, and learn to be through the key components of our curriculum model.
Here are some of our key beliefs about learning that shape our approach:
Children are capable of constructing their own learning. They are driven by their interests to understand and know more.
Children form an understanding of themselves and their place in the world through their interactions with others. There is a strong focus on social collaboration, working in groups, where each child is an equal participant, having their thoughts and questions valued. The adult is not the giver of knowledge. Children search out the knowledge through their own investigations.
Children are communicators. Communication is a process, a way of discovering things, asking questions, using language as play - playing with sounds and rhythm and rhyme; delighting in the process of communicating.
Children are natural investigators. They are encouraged to use language to investigate and explore and to reflect on their experiences. They are listened to with respect, believing that their questions and observations are an opportunity to learn and search together. It is a process- a continual process, a collaborative process. Rather than the child asking a question and the adult offering the answers, the search is undertaken together.
The environment is the third teacher. The environment is recognized for its potential to inspire children- an environment filled with natural light, order and beauty. Open spaces, free from clutter, where every material is considered for its purpose, every corner is ever-evolving to encourage children to delve deeper and deeper into their interests. The space encourages collaboration, communication and exploration. The space respects children as capable by providing them with authentic materials & tools. The space is cared for by the children and the adults.
The adult is a mentor and guide. Our role is to observe children, listen to their questions and their stories, find what interests them, and provide them with opportunities to explore these interests further.
Young learners integrate their learning experiences through additional outlets for exploration and creative expression. Open-ended and collaborative building projects, imaginative play and time in nature are all part of our afternoon schedule. Emotional literacy is key focus of our Studio. We focus on social and emotional growth and wellness as a key foundation for developing self direction in their learning as they head to the Elementary Studio.