Our goal is to optimise every student’s ability to communicate. Each child is challenged to master their mother tongue and actively apply the latest breakthroughs for developing their secondary languages. Students speaking other languages are welcome too; we’ll help them achieve mastery in at least one of our learning languages.
TRILINGUAL EDUCATION IN ENGLISH, DUTCH
PERSONALISED LEARNING WITH AMBITIOUS
Each student follows a unique path, defining and achieving ambitious goals for themselves with coaching from their teacher and support from parents. There are no age-defined classes; everyone learns at their own optimum speed. Many different ways to learn are accommodated, including peer-to-peer teaching and embedded technology. Redoubling doesn't exist in our system, and we frame tests and examinations as an opportunity to demonstrate mastery.
EXCELLENT PREPARATION FOR STATE EXAMINATIONS
We believe it is easier to succeed in conventional academic examinations when students deliberately develop soft skills such as a growth mindset, memory training, time management and examination technique. Our students will take the state examinations via the jury system, either in French or Dutch. Some English language examinations may also be available, depending on demand.
ACTIVE SUPPORT FOR PERSONAL TALENTS
With enough motivation, anyone can learn anything. LearningLab students divide their time at school between academics (50%), personal passions (25%) and service (25%). We encourage our students to work on in-depth projects inspired by their talents and passions. Wherever possible, we will integrate academic learning with these real-life, meaningful experiences chosen by the students themselves.
COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION, CREATIVITY AND
While our education system is currently focused on measuring academic knowledge and exam-taking skills, there is mounting evidence that the key factors contributing to a happy and successful life are better measured by executive function and the soft skills of emotional intelligence. Our school exercises communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking as part of our daily routine - and we also expect our students to study soft skills directly.
A LEARNING LABORATORY FOR 3-18 YEAR OLDS AND
A BREDE SCHOOL FOR LIFELONG LEARNERS
In September 2017 we’re starting an innovative new school in Kraainem, with a maximum core group of 25 full-time learners aged 3 to 18. We plan to grow to 40 students by September 2018, and 60 students within 3 years. Kraainem LearningLab is a 'brede' (means wide in Dutch) school, so our facilities will be available outside school hours for anyone who wants to learn, from parents and babies, to neighbours, grandparents, job seekers... teachers - and even business leaders :-)
How is Kraainem LearningLab Transforming Education?
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE, LOCAL AND GLOBAL
Kraainem LearningLab students are required to contribute to their community life within the school and beyond, locally and globally. We believe in COLLECTIVE AUTONOMY : the ability of students to organise and help each other independent of adults. This is key to our concept of making education both better and cheaper. It's at the heart of our peer-to-peer teaching program. Students will also run the daily management of the school as much as possible, with help from adults only as and when needed.
TEACHERS TRAINED AS COACHES AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT ARCHITECTS
Our teachers are coaches first. We eliminate lecturing in front of a blackboard to 25 passive (bored) children in favour of carefully supervised peer-to-peer teaching. Our learners will have daily opportunities to benefit from being both teachers and students, across age-groups and abilities. We seek to build learning partnerships and grow collaboration and teamwork, both in pairs and groups. Teachers also work with students to dynamically design the school environment to support engagement and wellbeing, optimising learning for each student in the way that suits them best.
GROWING A NETWORK OF INNOVATIVE SCHOOLS TRANSFORMING EDUCATION
Many initiatives to transform the way we learn are emerging, both in Europe and beyond. Kraainem LearningLab is connecting to this network of schools, educators and researchers. Evidence-based best practices are our gold standard, and we seek to link our in-house experiments with larger academic research projects. Our brede school will welcome professional development programs for teachers and other educators. We hope to be the local frontrunners of a global movement, informing and transforming how we prepare our children for the future and maintain our own health and wellbeing through lifelong learning.
AFFORDABLE FOR MIDDLECLASS FAMILIES,
REWARDING EXCELLENCE IN OUR TEACHERS
Kraainem LearningLab's legal structure will be either an ASBL/VZW (non-profit), or a co-operative, and we'll practice accounting transparency. We are determined to be affordable to middleclass families. We're also realistic about the obstacles to qualifying for state subsidies. At present, it costs the government about €6000 per year on average to provide a full-time student place. We believe we can offer a quantum leap better (think candle to LED lamp) of education, for a lower price. Our fees will be means-based : we'll ask those families who can afford it to pay a bit more, and offer discounts to those families who can't quite manage the full fee. The brede school will also contribute to the budget for running our building. It's vital to reward our teachers well for the exceptional work we expect from them, so we will also be looking for other out-of-the-box, creative solutions to funding their salaries, which make up about 80% of our expenses.
QUESTIONS, COMMENTS AND REACTIONS?