This morning, the students and I were remembering something we had discussed in the first week of school… and we all had a hard time believing it has been less than six weeks since the school year – and the school itself – started. In some ways, the daily life of the school feels so natural it’s almost like we’ve been doing this forever, but the change of season – visible in the vibrant red foliage appearing around the school – is a good reminder to reflect on how far we have come in the last six weeks.
Although the vision of Eastgate Academy has been taking shape for years now, we really became a school on students’ first day. In a few short weeks, our students have transformed a building and a small team of staff into a vibrant community of learners. I knew that students would love this kind of school, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how quickly students have noticed the differences and recognized what they like about Eastgate. With comments like “we learn without even realizing it” and “I use my imagination every day”, it is clear that students notice what is special about Eastgate Academy and are thriving in their new environment. Parents have observed that students are eager to go to school in the morning and have much more to say about what they learned at school when they come home.
As teachers, we expected that the transition to the kind of program we offer at Eastgate would be an adjustment, but we’ve all been surprised by how quickly students have adapted to inquiry-based learning. They are demonstrating insight, initiative and persistence in their learning. It really goes to show that students can do amazing things when the conditions are tailored to meet their needs and pique their curiosity.
I am so proud of how far our little school has come in just six weeks, and how each individual has had a hand in shaping it. Continuing on the path we have forged so far will take us somewhere really exciting, I’m sure!
Sarah Phillips, Principal