Prepared Environment

Creating an Environment That Facilitates a Child’s Choice To Work

At LePort, we deliberately design a whole environment that facilitates each child’s choice to learn, and to develop into a mature, independent person. We start with the physical environment: we offer safe, clean classrooms, attractive facilities, nice outdoor spaces and play areas, and good educational materials.

Our deliberately designed environment also includes a wide range of intangibles – the rules, policies, people and ideas a child experiences are each designed carefully to support our mission of equipping our students with Knowledge for Life. Our sequential selective curriculum, and our unique teaching approach are a key part of this environment.

Other examples include:

  • The prepared environment of our Montessori classrooms in preschool and in grades 1-3. From the child-sized furniture, to the self-correcting materials; from the child’s ability to choose his work, to his choice of mats or table and work partners; from the plants and animals in the classroom, to the type of teachers we hire and their comportment: everything is tailored to help the child choose to learn and to concentrate on productive work and personal development.
  • Our supervised, controlled environment at recess. Our teachers participate and coach students not just in class, but also during recess. We help them by providing clear rules – such as “no reading during recess” or “no running up stairs” – and consistent, predictable and helpful consequences (such as walking back down and up the stairs if students forget the rules.) By participating and controlling the environment, we transform recess from a chaotic free-for-all filled with peer-pressure – to a benevolent opportunity for developing personal and social skills.
  • Our systematic integration of organizational and time management skills into the everyday classroom experience. We don’t leave the development of practical skills to chance – or rely on individual teachers to come up with their own systems (which would lead to different classes having different systems, confusing the child—as happens in most schools). At LePort, we have created a coherent system, which all teachers and students use, and which gives children successively more freedoms and less guidance. From daily sign-offs of assignments, to longer-term deadlines, to finally the earned freedom from adult supervision once students master their planner habits: our environment is set up to enable our students to grow and to thrive later on in the less-controlled spheres of high school and college.

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