What is wonder?

What is wonder?

Noun: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. Verb: the desire to know or be curious about something.

When we say Wonder Lives Here at River Valley School (RVS) we can apply both definitions.

Elementary school is often the time when children develop certain belief systems about their capabilities. During these foundational years children will discover those things that make them unique, things that are their special gifts. They may also discover things that don’t come as easily to them. In both cases, it is our job at an Elementary school to instill the belief that anything is possible. A child’s job is to do exactly what schools sometimes inadvertently take away – to experience the joy of discovery, play, inquiry, the joy of wonder and curiosity and revel in what still comes so naturally to them; their innate love of learning.

At River Valley School, we integrate curriculum into meaningful inquiries and projects so that students are learning through hands-on experiences where they can move, talk, work independently or in a group. We are not a sit and get kind of place. Wonder can’t live there!

Our vision is to curate opportunities for learning and discovery that are as unique and dynamic as the world around us. We want every child to experience excellence. Excellence is a slightly more complex word to define as it means so many different things to people. At RVS, excellence isn’t a moving target that is defined by a teacher or a standardized test. While academically we are rigorous, we want children to love learning and to be out-of- the-box thinkers who can come up with creative solutions to complex problems.

Children are curious and have the desire to know things. When they are given the tools to apply what they’re learning to things that have meaning for them, we all stand in admiration of the beauty of a child’s ability to express the unexpected in their learning. At RVS Wonder truly is a noun and a verb.

4 Responses to What is wonder?

  1. An absolute truth very well presented! I concur wholeheartedly with the views expressed. As a past Head of School at RVS, I not only held these tenents close to my heart but passionately promoted them amongst students and staff alike. I am thrilled to see the current Head of School, Ms. Erin Corbett, continuing to fervently promote and further these tenents and ideals.

    Learning occurs best in an unfettered mind … in a mind given the opportunity to passionately explore the Universe with a creative and often outside-the-box manner. Our students are done a huge disservice when they are not permitted and given regular and continual opportunity to creatively play and explore the world in which they live. Through unleashing the minds of our youth, we, as educators, promote a strong love of learning as well as a passion for lifelong learning.

  2. I concur too with Erin’s blog and Murrays response. If you believe , as I do, that children have an incredible amount of potential and are in fact ” mighty learners and citizens of the world”, then we need to provide then with learning environments and passionate educators that inspire wonder, discovery, and deep authentic learning. This is not “fluff” but intentional engagement with real life matters, materials and more. River Valley school is a very special place. The children in this school are so fortunate. They are indeed mighty learners and citizens of the world.
    Sharon Reib

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