Motivate children in such a way that they want to gain more knowledge on their own – on their own initiative. They think they found the formula for it in GO! -Atheneum of Schoten. “We literally and figuratively demolished our middle school with classical education. At Xplore, we quickly make these boys and girls independent and give them the desire to learn more,” predicts Vice Principal Anja Peters, who showcased her first 31 Explorers on Thursday.
The acquaintance took place in a beautiful and completely new building on the Emiel Blangenoisstraat. The former Kindergarten of the “National School” was demolished and replaced by the cozy “base station” of Xplore. Warm is also one of the “keywords” in the new approach.
“The Xplore is actually made up of three large parts,” Anja Peeters explains for the new building. “There is still one learning room that looks a lot like a classic classroom. Although we deliberately keep the lesson times shorter than before. Our students will spend a lot of time especially in this open learning center: a large open space with comfortable nooks where they can retreat To do self-study. This is done under the supervision of the instructors, as we will contact our teachers from now on. We also have a well-equipped room for technology and science at our disposal.”
Students apply the acquired material immediately and as closely as possible in concrete projects. Anya Peters: “We strive to maximize learning acquisition and development by combining traditional strengths with the strengths of experiential education. Boys and girls are challenged to automatically take a step towards new knowledge. This is not an experiment. There are already several examples in Flanders showing That this approach works and prevents school fatigue. The School Lab in Sint-Amands is a shining example. At Voorkempen, we are the pioneers of the Invento School group at the Atheneum of Schoten.”
The open character of the campus, in a literal and figurative sense, strengthens the bond between students and the neighborhood and surrounding nature, or so is expected. Xplorers are taught to take care of people and the planet. Furthermore, the unfinished outdoor classrooms and Tiny Forest Xcape provide space for exploration and the study of nature.
“Our society is changing rapidly and no one has an idea of what young people need to know and be able to do for the jobs of the future. Xplore wants to be the place where these 12 and 13 year olds learn how to acquire the knowledge and skills that will enable them to future-proof on their own initiative.
Also for Anoek Rottiers, one of the four ‘coaches’ that 1 and 2 year olds could address by first name – another new thing – September 1st meant a fresh start after teaching in the traditional way for several years. She believes in it.
“The openness of this educational center is both practical and symbolic. Here we tear down the walls between the different ‘sections’ and make connections. Due to the small size, our team is able to allow each young person to develop to their fullest potential and gain that knowledge at their own pace. Every student is challenged at his level up to Learning never becomes boring.”
Exams are still
“It all happens within the framework of the curriculum,” said Deputy Principal Anja Peters. So exams and exams in Xplore have not been canceled, for those who have hoped at times. (laughs) We are helping these motivated young people to make a smooth transition from primary to secondary education and present them within two years so that they can properly complete their ASO education and continue studying later.”
In the long term, Xplore aims to have 100 first- and second-year high school students. According to management, only a third of that number are left on a discovery journey at the moment, as many concerned parents fear construction will not be completed on time. “But we made it, even if it was tight,” admits campaign leader Peters (yes)