The team of Het Palet works in units in which two years of study work together intensively. Working in units offers children the opportunity to learn from and with each other. Children of different ages, with different talents and characteristics, meet and work together. In one unit, several team members are jointly responsible for all children. This means that 'several eyes' follow the children, but also that team members can make optimal use of each other's qualities. Working in units makes it possible for children to be flexibly and tailor-made according to their needs, interests and talents. At the start of the 2023-2024 school year, this will be visible school-wide in the math block, the reading block and the thematic work. In the course of the school year, we will also develop this method for grammar. Below we explain the four pillars of our vision.
Pillar 1 - A pedagogical basis
Together with parents, the team of Het Palet wants to provide a solid pedagogical basis for all children. We think it is important that the children feel welcome and at home. The team actively wants to create a safe and secure atmosphere, both in the units and on the schoolyard. For us, every child is unique and equal. We approach the children positively and do this on the basis of unambiguous agreements and a low threshold. By acting on the basis of clear values and norms, from a dialogue about values and norms and from targeted activities, we teach children to take care of themselves, others and the environment.
Each child has its own home group teacher to whom the child visits several times a day. Each child also has a mentor who builds a relationship of trust with the child and whom the child can always turn to. By acting on the basis of clear values and norms, from a dialogue about values and norms and from targeted activities, we teach children to take care of themselves, others and the environment. When children have special educational needs from a pedagogical point of view, we work closely with parents and other parties to achieve optimal coordination.
All children at Het Palet are in a fixed homegroup and have their own homegroup-teacher(s) to whom they come home several times a day. In Unit 1, we call the homegroup a nest. From their own homegroup or nest, the children go to activities and instructions or to a workshop with one of the teachers of the unitteam. The entire unitteam knows the children and their personal (educational) needs. In this way, the children experience that we are there for them together. When children have special educational needs from a pedagogical point of view, we work closely with parents and other parties to achieve optimal coordination.
Pillar 2 - Basic skills as a solid foundation
Together with parents, the team of Het Palet wants to build a solid foundation for the future with all children, consisting of the basic skills of arithmetic, language and citizenship. We work with contemporary teaching methods in which we carefully tailor learning lines and learning objectives to the educational needs of all children. Teachers at Het Palet are instructors but also didactic coaches. This means that they guide children during the processing of the lesson material in such a way that there is a maximum impact on the children's learning.
At Het Palet, the children know the structure of a reading and arithmetic block. Children know who provides the instructions at which place and where they can then process the lesson material. Children receive instruction and processing within their own unit that is appropriate to their developmental level. At Het Palet we use, among other things, Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI) to ensure that children gain successful experiences and improve their learning performance. Instruction can be processed on Het Palet in various ways; on paper, digitally, in game form, moving, cooperatively, etc. Children are given every opportunity to learn from and with each other, but may also consciously choose to work alone and in silence. Unit 2, 3 and 4 have their own quiet room.
Within the units we find peace and structure important and we also consciously work with children on their executive functions. Think of learning to plan, organize, monitor yourself and deal flexibly with change. When children have special educational needs from a didactic point of view, we work closely with parents and other parties to achieve optimal coordination.
Pillar 3 - Meaningful learning
At Het Palet we address the amazement, curiosity, creativity, responsibility and intrinsic motivation of children within the thematic work. We focus on inquiry, discovery and design learning in which children gain knowledge, insights and skills of the 21st century. Examples of these skills that are discussed are: problem solving, self-regulation, collaboration and digital literacy. We shape thematic work based on contemporary methods such as KleuterLab (Unit 1) and Blink World (other units). Where possible, we work on language goals within the current theme so that cohesion and meaning are created for children.
Het Palet is a Cultural Profile School. This means that art and culture are intertwined with our themes. The children are given the opportunity to discover and develop their talents in the fields of dance, drama, music, multimedia, literature, heritage and visual education during creative workshops every week. The rich learning environment is an important condition in this regard. Cohesion between different subjects ensures a meaningful and coherent cultural programme. The children develop an inquisitive and active learning attitude, with constant attention for reflection. Teachers guide children through the creative process based on process-oriented didactics. This means that in the dialogue with the children we focus on converting feelings, experiences and discoveries into a product or artistic expression. For each unit we have formulated self-goals around creative behavior that we work on with the children.
Pillar 4 – Focus on children
At Het Palet we believe it is important that children acquire an attitude in which 'lifelong learning' is the starting point. For this it is important that a child feels motivated and responsible for their own learning process. At Het Palet, teachers want to actively guide children in this. They do this, for example, by providing didactic coaching during the processing of teaching material for their own current learning objectives. The child's mentor also plays an important role. The mentor is one of the homegroup teachers and is closest to the child. The mentor is the first point of contact for children and parents, monitors the development of the child and conducts triangular discussions about this in the triangle of teacher-parent-child. The portfolio is central to the triangular discussion.
In the portfolio we visualize the broad development and personal growth of each child. The Talent Card in the portfolio contains a 'This is how we see you' report. In this, the mentor of the child describes in consultation with the unit team how they see the child; social-emotional, work attitude and talents. In addition, the portfolio contains the results of the student monitoring system IEP. IEP stands for 'Insight Own Profile' and shows the growth of children in the area of their 'head, heart and hands'. In addition to IEP, we use observation tools for social-emotional and cognitive development and method-related tests to get an even broader picture of each child. With the portfolio, we strive for children to become more owners of their own learning process and to increase motivation for their own learning.
Children and their parents prepare triangular talks together at home. In the triangular discussion we bring together everyone's input and we look at how we can work together on the well-being and the next step in the development of the child. The progress of children at unit, grade and individual level is discussed with the entire unitteam and translated into an appropriate follow-up offer. The expertise of the internal supervisor is used for this.