The BIS Classrooms


Our students graduate from one room to another when they are developmentally ready not just because the year ends or they have a birthday. Our teaching teams track student development along academic, physical, social and emotional and self direction continua to work out the optimal time for them to move to the new classroom setting. We want the graduation process to always be one that is joyful and exciting where the student feels empowered by the transition.

Classroom Structure

The Big Cats

Like the delightful but ego centric lions of the savannah the Big Cats are egocentric with low impulse control where it is all about “me”. The strength of this developmental level is that it sets up our stregnth of will, our fierce courage to defend our needs and strong connections to emotion. It is our most flexible and free flowing room. Academically this is usually a Prep – 1 room. This level of development needs immediacy, pattern based learning, play, and clear boundaries enforced by an adult who is affectionate, playful and able to establish a kindly dictatorship. Find out more by visiting the Big Cats .

The Penguins

The bonding between a pair is the standout feature of the Penguins. As the inward focussed ego moves to connect to another and the importance of a “Best Friend” starts to awaken, the classroom environment needs to change. Pair work rules supreme as writing, spelling, maths rules become important. This is the perfect time to introduce the “rules” of the systems of the world, grammar, addition, spelling, design. The need to be like the “other” demands understanding of what other’s do.  Academically this room is usually grade 1- 3. Developmentally this level needs the Penguin teacher to be the holder of the knowledge and needs to be the “guide” not a friend. Find out more by visiting the Penguins.

The Dolphins

Working in groups, exploring, playing with ideas and realising for the first time how together their power and control is improved, the Dolphins are all about the “us” and “them” as the peer group moves into control their experience. Group work takes over the structure of the room interspersed with time alone to get focussed work done. Chatting, discussing, arguing and proving one’s power is the feature of this class as debate, use of mastered skills and connection to the adult world begins.  Academically this group is usually grades 4-7. The Dolphin’s teacher needs to be leading the pack and proving their worth to the group by being intellectually stimulating and full of insights. Find out more by visiting the Dolphins.

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