How Does Learning Take Place at Tamariki?
Learning by Experiencing
At the heart of the school is the fundamental premise that play is the essence of living and learning. Children don’t learn it, they live it; first comes the experience and then the understanding. The Tamariki experience is not about ‘formal learning’ as such, it is about education in its broadest sense; and it is through this process of self-understanding, awareness and trust, that the students’ real development takes place. The children get involved in a lot of physical activity, sports and outdoor activities, and also a lot of quieter activities such as painting, reading and board games—sometimes alone, but most often with others and most likely with children of varying ages.
Children Taking Responsibility
The School has been set up to create a community where children are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their own education. Learning is achieved through self-directed play and involvement in activities, outings and lessons. The fundamental ethos is that individual freedom is essential to the development of personal responsibility.
Tamariki children fill their days with activities that are interesting and meaningful to them. Whether it is learning to skateboard, chairing a meeting, making a mud ball circuit, setting up shop, attending academic lessons, or reading alone, students constantly take on tasks that challenge them and then face these with intense concentration and purpose. They book formal lesson time when they wish to. They work with passion; they experiment and bring incredible focus to their activities. They become self-learners.
Classes and Lessons
Formal classes, lessons and workshops are offered. When a child is serious about learning to read they can ask for sessions with a teacher, and this will be provided either with a group of other children or one-on-one. At about age 9, they may enter into an agreement for a period of time to attend regular lessons to further develop their literacy and maths skills. Year 7 and 8 children normally attend senior classes every morning to ensure that they are prepared for moving onto high school. Workshops for art, pottery, science and other focuses are offered too.