Our Philosophy

One of the first things one notices upon entering Royal Oak is the kind, inclusive and close-knit environment at our school.  We believe children can only take the great risk of learning and sharing ideas, when they feel safe, nurtured, and are in a respectful and accessible environment.  Students at Royal support one another and spend time deeply engaged in discussion, collaboration, and hands-on work.  We give students a foundation of confidence, knowledge, and curiosity to reach their potential both academically and socially.  


At Royal Oak School, we have 3 core building blocks that are at the very heart of our educational programming and teaching philosophy.

Children at Royal Oak will benefit from: ​

  • individualized attention and instruction 

  • experiential learning, and 

  • a "fail-forward" philosophy 

Royal Oak is dedicated to engaging children in an educational experience that is enriched, innovative, and exciting. Royal Oak aims to prepare students for a lifetime of learning, asking good questions, and of critical thinking and analysis of everything they find. Teaching practices and learning opportunities in the school are anchored in inquiry, developmental readiness, and best-practice.

We believe in children, and know that children should not be underestimated! Even at the age of four, children are capable of grappling with new ideas, theorizing, experimenting, and understanding sophisticated concepts. We believe children learn best when their innate curiosity is encouraged and built upon. Children come to school with a deep understanding of the world around them. Capturing this knowledge and children’s growing questions about the world is key to capturing their engagement and attention. We believe in the power of community; when children are in a secure and safe environment to share their ideas and whole selves, they blossom as students but also as leaders.

Individual Attention

  • ROCS is an open learning environment specifically designed to promote self-confidence, and respect for others

  • Children are deeply known by their teachers and classmates – this means instruction is differentiated for their needs and children progress and reach their own specific learning goals

  • Children partake in daily activities designed to practice and develop independence

  • Children have weekly opportunities to develop positive influence and leadership skills by engaging with the community on cooperative initiatives


Experiential Learning

  • Royal Oak students develop a passion for learning through unique and fun experiences both in and outside of the classroom

  • Children guide their own learning through their questions and interests in the curriculum - our teaching is responsive, reflective of student interests, and hands-on

Fail Forward Environment (or Philosophy)

  • “Fail-forward” refers to the idea of encouraging and fostering curiosity and creativity by providing a safe environment to learn from mistakes.

  • Thomas Edison is said to have tried 10,000 different elements before finding the right one to work in the first light bulb. “We didn’t fail, we learnt what doesn’t work,” he is believed to have said

  • Regular opportunities to accelerate personal growth by designing specific activities that encourage children to step out of their comfort zone. Children at Royal Oak take part in Student Council elections and leadership roles, participate in local essay writing competitions, and an International math contest five times per year.

  • Research using MRI imaging shows that the brain synapses and neurons are more active when processing a mistake than a correct answer; we need failure and a safe environment to push ahead in order to succeed!

 
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(905) 328-9592

176 Wellington St, P.O. box 419, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0, Canada

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