Discovery and Learning
BCL is committed to a nature-based, comprehensive, student-centered learning experience that empowers and encourages our students to be inspired, innovative, forces of change. We educate young leaders in global citizenship. We model our program from The Green School, which champions a new model of learning that connects the timeless lessons from nature to a relevant and effective preparation for a fast-changing future. The comprehensive learning at BCL focuses on the four intelligences, ‘The Big Four’ — the physical, emotional, intellectual and expressive development of the child.
Pedagogy - Four Frames of Learning:
1. Thematic Classes (cross disciplinary learning around a theme)
2. Core Classes (Mathematics, English, Science, and Humanities) British Curriculum
3. Experiential Classes (Enterprise, Environmental Studies, Student Scientists, Arts, Health & Well Being, and Foreign Languages),
4. Trips (giving real life value to class learning)
This defines how we deliver the content of our courses in the classroom and beyond. This scaffold is designed to provide a consistent, relevant, well-rounded and comprehensive learning experience, and forms the basis of the curriculum and approach to learning.
Environmental Science and Student Scientists
Our comprehensive curriculum evolves from ecology to sustainability while connecting students to our amazing local biodiversity, geographic and cultural context here in Panama. We use a hands-on approach that allows students to ‘get their hands dirty’ and ‘get mud between their toes,’ while reinforcing the essential skills of reading, writing, maths and science.
The aims of our Environmental Science and Student Scientists curriculum are to:
Nurture respect for the natural world;
Heighten students’ environmental awareness and promote stewardship;
Develop deep ecological values;
Encourage student’s natural curiosity, develop observational and inference skills, ask questions, and postulate on ways to support their ideas;
Recognize that to be a scientist is to observe, question, and make inferences based upon evidence, and that they themselves are in effect scientists;
Build awareness of and engagement with the many readily-accessible resources in and around the classroom, as well as Panama itself;
Understand sustainability and systems as a web of relationships interacting with communities – human and non-human – in ways that enable them to live and develop according to their nature;
Foster a love for learning about themselves, each other, and the wider world in ways that are respectful, have depth of understanding, and compassionate coexistence; and
Instill pride, responsibility and cooperation among students as lifelong learners and future leaders in the world.
At BCL, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship are not subjects - they are ways of being and doing. They are central to educating for a sustainable world. By developing these skills, habits, and attitudes, students own their learning and have impact on the world. Students practice entrepreneurial skills on a regular basis – as questioners, thinkers, failure learners, and active learners. From establishing a business such as jewelry making to taking on a real problem such as new composting systems, systems-thinking, design, collaboration and creative problem-solving skills are developed and brought to life.
Our art is richly influenced by our geographical location — the cultural and artistic features that abound in everyday life. Through exhibition and performance, we foster student confidence, self-awareness, perseverance, and collaboration. The arts are also a platform for activism and student-led initiatives in this area are supported. Whenever possible, we pursue opportunities to link strands of the Creative Arts – particularly when it comes celebrating through exhibitions and performance.
Outdoor Education and Trips
The world is our classroom, and Panama itself offers one of the most beautiful and natural school campuses in the world. Our outdoor education program makes use of the natural campus through games, sports and physical challenges which utilize the terrain, the jungle, the river and hiking trails in and around Panama. Sostante takes a holistic approach to children’s fitness and health encompassing movement, fitness, sport skills development, emotional health, personal safety, and nutrition.
Sustainability and Connection to Community
BCL understands and embraces the environmental challenges facing our world today, and with students leading the way, we are making an impact. We are committed not only to learning for sustainability, but also living for sustainability. We believe that the key to long term sustainability is solidarity and equal opportunity among all walks of life, in order to create a society with an environmental consciousness that extends to all life, human and non-human. That is why we incorporate community-based projects into our learning, as well as find sponsorship for as many low-income students as possible. United together, we are the change.
BCL prides itself on personalizing learning for our students. We welcome students with a vast range of unique talents, skills and needs. Our goal is to embrace each child, honor their unique contributions to our special learning community, and nurture their development in order to optimize their potential. We offer additional support services for English as a Learner’s Language, Academic Support and Social-Emotional support services. We seek to understand each child’s particular needs and make an assessment as to our ability to support their needs and goals and the resources and expertise available.