Claren Academy was born when our founders compared the education that their children were receiving to the skills needed in the future workforce. Today's kindergarten students will graduate around 2030, in an increasingly computerized and automated world. Using an individualized approach to learning, Claren Academy teaches a uniquely enriched version of the B.C. curriculum to provide strong fundamentals while also exposing students to forward-looking study areas such as computer programming, game development, and virtual reality robotics, music & video production, and more.
For the 2019/2020 school year, Claren Academy will accommodate children from kindergarten to grade four. One additional grade will be added each subsequent year. At Claren Academy, our superior student to teacher ratio (15 to 1, or better) permits us to take an individualized approach to teach. Using methods like inquiry and project-based learning, students can pursue their interests and become genuinely invested in their progress. In key cumulative subjects such as math and reading, our students proceed at their own pace, advancing to the next lesson only when mastery of previous lessons has been demonstrated. In this way, we ensure that students do not have gaps in foundational knowledge (e.g., difficulty with fractions) that could cause them to struggle with more complex lessons in the future (e.g., algebra).
This system has the additional benefit of allowing students to proceed more rapidly in subjects where they can while receiving assistance in subjects that do not come to them quite so quickly. The continual evaluation also permits parents and teachers to keep a close eye on every student's progress, ensuring that potential problems are identified and dealt with early. Daily successes and achievements are celebrated.
We believe that creativity and inventiveness are skills that will always be in demand. The Oxford study The Future of Employment states, "Specialist occupations involving the development of novel ideas and artifacts, are the least susceptible to computerization." Predictably, this includes occupations in science and engineering, but it also includes occupations in the fields of entertainment and the arts. Video game design, for example, combines the technical and the creative and is an emerging field that is less likely to be impacted by automation.
We foster creativity in our students by reducing the emphasis on rote memorization and by teaching them to find answers for themselves. Similarly, we encourage diversity over conformity. Instead of a "one size fits all" program, our students are at liberty to explore their areas of interest, permitted that a firm grasp of core subjects has been demonstrated.
We evolved to enjoy the play because play helps us learn about our environment and prepare for our adult lives. However, learning only feels like play when it is hands-on, self-directed, and self-motivated. Students are excited about learning when they can see how the subject at hand will be relevant to their lives.
Most high school students are not excited about learning the quadratic formula because they do not see how it will ever be useful. What if they knew that that formula might allow them to animate a realistic fight scene or project an entrepreneurial idea's budget? At Claren Academy, we expose students to aspirational fields in a hands-on way from the start to show that their studies will help them excel in the areas they most enjoy.
Claren Academy was founded by one set of parents. However, our growth and success are due to families, educators, and community members who have contributed their support and energy from the very beginning. We value our roots and are proud to watch our school and students growing together. Monthly family nights, online portfolio updates, and morning "soft starts" give us frequent chances to connect. We welcome parent contributions in any form, from accompaniment to the park, hosting at open houses, and shared professional expertise. We are thrilled to share testimonials that demonstrate our families' pride in and commitment to Claren Academy.
We consider it a key component of our students' education to learn about the community outside of our walls. Our field trips are such a central part of our curriculum that the costs are included in our tuition. We believe that our students will be well served by being confident, capable citizens of their community.