School Porject_new

In light of Casa da Árvore’s 25th birthday, we have reviewed our School Project.

Having taken the time to reflect on the past years – and looking ahead to our goals for the years to come - we remain strongly committed to leaving our mark on the lives of the children and the families that we accompany. 

Scroll down to learn more.

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Reading to children at night, responding to their smiles with a smile, returning their vocalizations with one of your own, touching them, holding them - all of these further a child's brain development and future potential, even in the earliest months.

T. Berry Brazelton

the child

child

Every child that comes trough Casa da Árvore should feel cared for, loved and – above all – respected.

All children under our care should feel cherished, loved and, above all, respected.

All children under our care should feel cherished, loved and, above all, respected.

All children under our care should feel cherished, loved and, above all, respected.

At Casa da Árvore, we believe that each child is unique and should be welcomed and respected equal in dignity, at any stage of he child’s life. That is perhaps one of Casa da Árvore’s greatest pillars, if not the greatest – acknowledging and respecting the dignity of each individual, his or hers own essence and uniqueness.

Each child we receive is welcomed, respected and treated as a person who is equal in dignity to any other person at any stage of his/her life. This is one of our pillars, perhaps the greatest of all - respect for the dignity of each person, for their essence, for what they are, in their innermost being.

Each child we receive is welcomed, respected and treated as a person who is equal in dignity to any other person at any stage of his/her life. This is one of our pillars, perhaps the greatest of all - respect for the dignity of each person, for their essence, for what they are, in their innermost being.

Each child we receive is welcomed, respected and treated as a person who is equal in dignity to any other person at any stage of his/her life. This is one of our pillars, perhaps the greatest of all - respect for the dignity of each person, for their essence, for what they are, in their innermost being.

the school

the school

As a school, we like to keep an “open-door” policy.  We apply this both to our physical space as well as to our relationship with the families of Casa da Árvore.

We are an open doors school. This is an approach we apply both to physical space and in our relationships with the families.

At Casa da Árvore, we keep the doors open most of the time, in accordance with the idea of freedom and autonomy that we continuously promote and that is inherent to the very spirit of our school. By removing these barriers to the overall circulation, we believe that the school’s premises become even more pleasurable, warm and welcoming. Our open-door policy is equally applicable to the families of Casa da Árvore, whom we believe should be a part of the school’s daily routines and activities whenever possible.

In addition to the dropping off/picking up school moments, in which family life and school life are naturally merged, families are also often invited to participate in some of the school’s activities and routines, during which they are welcome – and indeed encouraged - to share their own stories and backgrounds with the rest of the class.

In Casa da Árvore we almost always have our doors open, removing many of the circulation barriers introduces an idea of ​​autonomy and even freedom that we consider to be fitting for the School. Thus, the school space becomes more fluid, inviting and welcoming. This open-door culture also manifests itself in the relationships we keep with families, who should be as much a part of everyday school life as possible. In addition to the moments of start and end of the school day, where the sharing between family and school life occurs very naturally, families are invited to participate in different moments of the school routine and to share more of themselves.

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Playing, exploring, and learning – these have always been our guiding principles when bringing our school’s project to life.  

Brincar, explorar, aprender tem sido sempre a nossa orientação no que toca à conceção e preparação da atividade escolar.

Playing, exploring, learning has always been our motto when it comes to the conception and preparation of school activities.

At Casa da Árvore, we believe there is an inner explorer in every child, who is naturally eager to discover and to learn more about what surrounds him or her. Playing is the richest way of experimenting with the world around us, to test various hypotheses and to push limits, and also to gain valuable tools that will be paramount during later stages of the child’s life. 

When a child is playing, she is fully and completely engaged in the activity.  This allows the child to acquire a vast array of skill and experiences simultaneously, which is exactly what the school should endeavour.  By way of example, in one single play session, a child can - in addition to developing her mathematical reasoning - improve her oral communication skills and learn the importance of other values such as sharing, empathy and tolerance.

Every school moment or activity, and every space within Casa da Árvore, has been carefully (and jointly) put together by our team with the aim of accompanying each child and group in the best way possible.

We believe that there is a natural explorer within every child, awake to the world around him/her, thirsty to learn about everything he/she finds. Playing is the most complete and richest way to experience the world, to test hypotheses and limits, to build meaningful learning that will be a unique heritage for other school learning that will be important later on. In addition, when playing, the child involves everything, everything that is and has, allowing for very different learning, simultaneously, as the school should always support. That is, in the same game, for example, develops mathematical reasoning, oral communication, empathy or tolerance or the value of sharing.

Acreditamos que há em cada criança um explorador natural, desperto para o mundo à sua volta, sedento de aprender sobre tudo o que encontra. Brincar é a forma mais completa e rica de experimentar o mundo, testar hipóteses e limites, construir aprendizagens significativas que constituirão património único para outras aprendizagens que em fases posteriores serão importantes. Acresce que a brincar a criança envolve-se toda, tudo o que é e tem, permitindo aprendizagens muito diversas, em simultâneo, como a escola deveria ser sempre. Ou seja, numa mesma brincadeira, por exemplo, desenvolve-se o raciocínio matemático, a comunicação oral, a empatia ou a tolerância ou o valor da partilha. 

Our spaces are designed to foster and unfold autonomy and independence. This gives children the opportunity to act and utilize their freedom of choice in a responsible and creative way.

Todos os espaços e momentos da vida escolar são pensados em equipa e valorizados como oportunidades relevantes para acompanhar cada criança e o grupo.

We plan all spaces and moments of school life as a team and we value these as relevant opportunities to accompany each child and the group.

We plan all spaces and moments of school life as a team and we value these as relevant opportunities to accompany each child and the group.

Todos os espaços e momentos da vida escolar são pensados em equipa e valorizados como oportunidades relevantes para acompanhar cada criança e o grupo.

Our toys are manifold and diverse, the great majority being made of natural materials. Most importantly, they hint at a reality and a culture that children are just starting to know and participate on.

Finally, our team is continuously working on (and coming up with new) daily school activities and free play sessions that are valuable opportunities to deepen our affective relationship with the children, which is always dynamic and naturally grows as we spend more time together having fun.

Spaces promote the autonomous skill of children. Toys are diverse, mostly in natural materials and point, above all, leaning towards to the reality they are gradually getting to know, privileging what is part of our culture. The different moments of the school routine, which are prepared by the classroom or the free play team, represent opportunities for bonding, deepening an affective relationship that is dynamic and grows with the confidence gained in all these moments.

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the educator

respect

The importance of affection in the pedagogic relationship:

The importance of affection in the pedagogical relationship:

The importance of affection in the pedagogical relationship:

The importance of affection in the pedagogical relationship:

The true learning process can only happen when adults and children bond; and in that sense, the school should be no more than a rich web of affectional bonds between the children and their caregivers. An affective relationship, in itself, implies that one is willing to be there for the other. That is, first and foremost, the role we expect from the educators at Casa da Árvore – that they are always emotionally available to bond with the children they care for during the year (and beyond).

The pedagogical relationship has to be based on affection, the true educational process occurs only when children and adults connect. In this sense, the School should be nothing but a web of affective bonds. The affective relationship implies surrendering to the other, making oneself available with what one is and has. This is, in the first place, the role we assign to the adult educator in our school, to be available to connect with the children he or she accompanies over one (or more) school year.

The pedagogical relationship has to be based on affection, the true educational process occurs only when children and adults connect. In this sense, the School should be nothing but a web of affective bonds. The affective relationship implies surrendering to the other, making oneself available with what one is and has. This is, in the first place, the role we assign to the adult educator in our school, to be available to connect with the children he or she accompanies over one (or more) school year.

The pedagogical relationship has to be based on affection, the true educational process occurs only when children and adults connect. In this sense, the School should be nothing but a web of affective bonds. The affective relationship implies surrendering to the other, making oneself available with what one is and has. This is, in the first place, the role we assign to the adult educator in our school, to be available to connect with the children he or she accompanies over one (or more) school year.

autonomy

Appreciation of an attitude of trust and autonomy:

Appreciation of an attitude of trust and autonomy:

Appreciation of an attitude of trust and autonomy:

Appreciation of an attitude of trust and autonomy:

The educator's attitude should seek to promote each child's confidence and autonomy. In a life phase that is profoundly marked by constant discovery and learning, the sense of security needed to go out looking is strictly connected one's conception of oneself, namely of someone capable, with value, that is valued by others and that can overcome challenges and obstacles. Every day brings new things, growing strong and prepared for unpredictability and change requires growing confidence in who you are and in your own abilities.

The educator's attitude should seek to promote each child's confidence and autonomy. In a life phase that is profoundly marked by constant discovery and learning, the sense of security needed to go out looking is strictly connected one's conception of oneself, namely of someone capable, with value, that is valued by others and that can overcome challenges and obstacles. Every day brings new things, growing strong and prepared for unpredictability and change requires growing confidence in who you are and in your own abilities.

The educator's attitude should seek to promote each child's confidence and autonomy. In a life phase that is profoundly marked by constant discovery and learning, the sense of security needed to go out looking is strictly connected one's conception of oneself, namely of someone capable, with value, that is valued by others and that can overcome challenges and obstacles. Every day brings new things, growing strong and prepared for unpredictability and change requires growing confidence in who you are and in your own abilities.

The educator's attitude should seek to promote each child's confidence and autonomy. In a life phase that is profoundly marked by constant discovery and learning, the sense of security needed to go out looking is strictly connected one's conception of oneself, namely of someone capable, with value, that is valued by others and that can overcome challenges and obstacles. Every day brings new things, growing strong and prepared for unpredictability and change requires growing confidence in who you are and in your own abilities.

dialogue

Dialogue as the engine of the educational process:

Dialogue as a fundamental educational engine:

Dialogue as a fundamental educational engine:

O diálogo como motor fundamental da educação:

The affective relationship, as well as the attitude of trust and autonomy, is based on a culture of constant dialogue. Dialogue is fundamental for several reasons. Children's exposure to fluid, word-rich daily speech is a relevant indicator of future school success and cognitive development in various dimensions. Thus, a culture of dialogue will be fundamental in shaping the child as a person and as a citizen. We become people when we are looked upon and treated as such. In a very simple but authentic way, we cultivate dialogue daily in times shared with each child individually and in small or large groups.

The affective relationship, as well as the attitude of trust and autonomy, is based on a culture of constant dialogue. Dialogue is fundamental for several reasons. Children's exposure to fluid, word-rich daily speech is a relevant indicator of future school success and cognitive development in various dimensions. Thus, a culture of dialogue will be fundamental in shaping the child as a person and as a citizen. We become people when we are looked upon and treated as such. In a very simple but authentic way, we cultivate dialogue daily in times shared with each child individually and in small or large groups.

The affective relationship, as well as the attitude of trust and autonomy, is based on a culture of constant dialogue. Dialogue is fundamental for several reasons. Children's exposure to fluid, word-rich daily speech is a relevant indicator of future school success and cognitive development in various dimensions. Thus, a culture of dialogue will be fundamental in shaping the child as a person and as a citizen. We become people when we are looked upon and treated as such. In a very simple but authentic way, we cultivate dialogue daily in times shared with each child individually and in small or large groups.

The affective relationship, as well as the attitude of trust and autonomy, is based on a culture of constant dialogue. Dialogue is fundamental for several reasons. Children's exposure to fluid, word-rich daily speech is a relevant indicator of future school success and cognitive development in various dimensions. Thus, a culture of dialogue will be fundamental in shaping the child as a person and as a citizen. We become people when we are looked upon and treated as such. In a very simple but authentic way, we cultivate dialogue daily in times shared with each child individually and in small or large groups.

school organization

school organization

The team:

The team:

Our team consists of 6 teachers, 8 classroom assistants, 1 multipurpose assistant, 1 technical coordinator and Board. A considerable part of the team has been working together for several years.

Our team consists of 6 teachers, 8 classroom assistants, 1 multipurpose assistant, 1 technical coordinator, 1 assistant director. A considerable part of the team has been working together for several years.

The culture of solidarity and mutual help is one of the aspects that is most praised by both the team itself and the families that we welcome. Each school year, a training plan is presented, with a reference theme for each year, which is based on internally prepared sessions and the possibility of participating in other sessions organized by our partners or others. Every year there is also a simple but thorough evaluation process, seeking to maintain a culture of demand and professionalism, setting personal and team goals for each new year.

The culture of solidarity and mutual help is one of the aspects that is most praised by both the team itself and the families that we welcome. Each school year, a training plan is presented, with a reference theme for each year, which is based on internally prepared sessions and the possibility of participating in other sessions organized by our partners or others. Every year there is also a simple but thorough evaluation process, seeking to maintain a culture of demand and professionalism, setting personal and team goals for each new year.

The follow-up:

The follow-up:

The Individual Development Plan, provided for by law, comprises a moment of diagnosis and the definition of key intervention areas and assessment strategies.

The Individual Development Plan, provided for by law, comprises a moment of diagnosis and the definition of key intervention areas and assessment strategies.

Throughout the year, the various steps are carefully followed. Since the adaptation period, in which each educator completes an observation and diagnosis document for each child, to the end of the school year, when the educators evaluate the success of the strategies defined for each child with the presence of the Coordination and Direction. Throughout the year, Casa da Árvore will meet with families whenever they deem it necessary. It may also happen that we will call the family to a meeting to discuss some specific issues.

Throughout the year, the various steps are carefully followed. Since the adaptation period, in which each educator completes an observation and diagnosis document for each child, to the end of the school year, when the educators evaluate the success of the strategies defined for each child with the presence of the Coordination and Direction. Throughout the year, Casa da Árvore will meet with families whenever they deem it necessary. It may also happen that we will call the family to a meeting to discuss some specific issues.

The spaces:

The spaces:

Each group has their own room. We occasionally suggest changing rooms for specific activities, but it makes sense for us to have a space that will become particularly familiar.

Each group has their own room. We occasionally suggest changing rooms for specific activities, but it makes sense for us to have a space that will become particularly familiar.

There is a common pantry, although most of the year meals take place outside. We also have a common multipurpose room where some weekly activities take place. Regarding the outdoor spaces, the sand garden along the facade of the house is the main one. We have two other outdoor spaces: a semi-covered patio and a smaller garden where some of the groups also pass frequently.
The use of outdoor spaces is very frequent, statistically above what is usual in Portugal. On cold or rainy days, we go out in the street with rubber boots and warm, waterproof jackets. Learning under different weather conditions and how we can protect ourselves in all situations is very relevant. In addition, we consider that being outdoors is very often the healthiest option.

There is a common pantry, although most of the year meals take place outside. We also have a common multipurpose room where some weekly activities take place. Regarding the outdoor spaces, the sand garden along the facade of the house is the main one. We have two other outdoor spaces: a semi-covered patio and a smaller garden where some of the groups also pass frequently.
The use of outdoor spaces is very frequent, statistically above what is usual in Portugal. On cold or rainy days, we go out in the street with rubber boots and warm, waterproof jackets. Learning under different weather conditions and how we can protect ourselves in all situations is very relevant. In addition, we consider that being outdoors is very often the healthiest option.

The routine:

The routine:

Our routine is light but valued as it helps children anticipate what will happen. Thus gaining confidence and willingness to engage in the learning opportunities that the school provides.

Our routine is light but valued as it helps children anticipate what will happen. Thus gaining confidence and willingness to engage in the learning opportunities that the school provides.

School start and finish times are flexible as families have very different schedules. Most importantly, the dialogue between family and school is fluid. In the morning there is plenty of time for free play in the living room and in the garden; there is a storytime moment and a proposed activity takes place daily, and there is also time to eat the morning fruit. After lunch, we have a period of nap/rest and in the afternoon more free play, also in the living room and in the garden, together with a snack. As a team, we reflect a lot on the importance of not letting the routine impose itself on the rhythms of the group or one of the children. Routine is an instrument in the hands of the educator, it should never be imposed but should be used in the way that best suits the group and each individual child.

School start and finish times are flexible as families have very different schedules. Most importantly, the dialogue between family and school is fluid. In the morning there is plenty of time for free play in the living room and in the garden; there is a storytime moment and a proposed activity takes place daily, and there is also time to eat the morning fruit. After lunch, we have a period of nap/rest and in the afternoon more free play, also in the living room and in the garden, together with a snack. As a team, we reflect a lot on the importance of not letting the routine impose itself on the rhythms of the group or one of the children. Routine is an instrument in the hands of the educator, it should never be imposed but should be used in the way that best suits the group and each individual child.

The activities:

The activities:

Among the various types of activities proposed by the classroom teams, sensory experiences take precedence over their relevance to the learning of children of these ages.

Among the various types of activities proposed by the classroom teams, sensory experiences take precedence over their relevance to the learning of children of these ages.

At Casa da Árvore, no child is required to do any activity if he or she does not want to do it. In this sense, the option of not participating in an activity is also considered as a way of participating in group life. The role of the adult will be to propose the activity, respect the non-adherence of any child, as well as the interpretation that each child makes of what was proposed. The adult should never replace the child in a task, never should the adult's ambition override what the child wanted to do at that moment. At this stage, we value the message that what is done by the child has value and deserves to be shared. Naturally, the educator will be aware of situations of constant abstention from participation, realizing its origin and seeking, individually and in small groups, to captivate and challenge the child accordingly.

At Casa da Árvore, no child is required to do any activity if he or she does not want to do it. In this sense, the option of not participating in an activity is also considered as a way of participating in group life. The role of the adult will be to propose the activity, respect the non-adherence of any child, as well as the interpretation that each child makes of what was proposed. The adult should never replace the child in a task, never should the adult's ambition override what the child wanted to do at that moment. At this stage, we value the message that what is done by the child has value and deserves to be shared. Naturally, the educator will be aware of situations of constant abstention from participation, realizing its origin and seeking, individually and in small groups, to captivate and challenge the child accordingly.

At Casa da Árvore, no child is required to do any activity if he or she does not want to do it. In this sense, the option of not participating in an activity is also considered as a way of participating in group life. The role of the adult will be to propose the activity, respect the non-adherence of any child, as well as the interpretation that each child makes of what was proposed. The adult should never replace the child in a task, never should the adult's ambition override what the child wanted to do at that moment. At this stage, we value the message that what is done by the child has value and deserves to be shared. Naturally, the educator will be aware of situations of constant abstention from participation, realizing its origin and seeking, individually and in small groups, to captivate and challenge the child accordingly.

At Casa da Árvore, no child is required to do any activity if he or she does not want to do it. In this sense, the option of not participating in an activity is also considered as a way of participating in group life. The role of the adult will be to propose the activity, respect the non-adherence of any child, as well as the interpretation that each child makes of what was proposed. The adult should never replace the child in a task, never should the adult's ambition override what the child wanted to do at that moment. At this stage, we value the message that what is done by the child has value and deserves to be shared. Naturally, the educator will be aware of situations of constant abstention from participation, realizing its origin and seeking, individually and in small groups, to captivate and challenge the child accordingly.

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email

casadaarvore@casadaarvore.pt

phone

+351 213011483

+351 910961538

address

Praça Malaca nº3 - Restelo

1400-239 Lisboa

Do not hesitate to contact us.

Do not hesitate to contact us.

Do not hesitate to contact us.