What is British Primary?
The British Primary educational philosophy is a unique instructional approach created 40 years ago under the direction and leadership of Founding Head Carolyn Hambidge.
This philosophy encompasses the practices of many well-known educators and theorists, best described as constructivists, including Jean Piaget, John Dewey and Lev Vygotsky.
Constructivists believe people cannot be "given" information and then instantly understand and use it. Instead, individuals must "construct" their knowledge and understanding for themselves.
Under this theory, Stanley BPS emphasizes hands-on problem solving that allows children to tap into their natural curiosities. As educators, we focus on making connections between facts and fostering new understanding in students.
Our Founder Carolyn Hambidge's views as an educator were dramatically influenced by the principles of Friedrich Froebel, a German educator known for his progressive views of early education. Carolyn was educated at The Froebel Insititute, now a college within the London University systems.
Key elements of a Froebelian education in action at Stanley British Primary School:
- There should be intense respect for the person being taught.
- People should be active agents in their own learning.
- There should be a continuing relationship between the learner and the teacher.
- Learning should be a cumulative, integral process rather than one consisting of fragmented, discrete elements.
- Education should be focused on personal growth, fulfillment and care for others.
Learn more about Stanley's fundamentals through our Vision, Mission & Values.
"Froebel had a very different way of looking at children and teaching, which was radical in his time. He valued children as children and felt they should develop all sides of themselves. He saw the classroom as a garden, which the teacher would create, providing materials that were aesthetically pleasing and yet challenging to children that would bring out of them what was natural to them.
"To do this, you must realize that each child is unique, and learns in a different way. So you must understand where the child is developmentally and then provide him the opportunities to learn in the way he learns best."
—Carolyn Hambidge, Founding Head Stanley British Primary School
Froebels's Principles in the Stanley Classroom
Our method and practice of teaching rely heavily on many of Friedrich Froebel's principles. They include:
- Skilled and informed observation of children, to support effective development, learning and teaching
- Awareness that education relates to all capabilities of each child: imaginative, creative, symbolic, linguistic, mathematical, musical, aesthetic, scientific, physical, social, moral, cultural and spiritual
- Parents/carers and educators working in harmony and partnership
- First hand experience, play, talk and reflection
- Activities and experiences that have sense, purpose and meaning to the child, and involve joy, wonder, concentration, unity and satisfaction
- A holistic approach to learning which recognizes children as active, feeling and thinking human beings, seeing patterns and making connections
- Encouragement rather than punishment
- Individual and collaborative activity and play
- An approach to learning which develops children's autonomy and self confidence
Source: The Froebel Trust