Small Class Size
Kadimah Academy is a small school, and we see this as a great advantage for teachers and students. Our average student-teacher ratio is about 6:1, at all levels from Nursery through Eighth Grade. With fewer students in a class, teachers are more able to devote a few minutes of one-on-one time with an individual student, which can lead to great gains in academic achievement. They also get to know both students and their families better, enabling them to identify both challenges and opportunities to help students succeed. Discipline problems are much less of a concern than in larger classrooms because students’ individual needs are being appropriately met. Every classroom develops a culture that fosters mutual respect and honors an exchange of thoughts, opinions and philosophies. Small class size enables teachers to worry less about managing learners and more about managing learning.
A small classroom offers more opportunity for every voice to be heard and for students to become involved in peer collaboration. Students know each other better, are more interdependent, and are therefore more successful at group work. There are fewer and smaller groups and more chances for students to share their own discoveries.
Another factor unique to Kadimah Academy is its multi-aged classes. We recognize that children learn at various rates. In a traditional grade-level classroom, any child who isn’t performing in sync with the school’s curriculum schedule will forever feel behind and begin a spiral of failure. In a multi-age level classroom, he or she always has the opportunity to excel at a later time. In this type of classroom, each child makes continuous progress at his or her own rate. There is no expectation that every child be ready to master a certain skill simultaneously with his or her classmates; consequently, children do not feel like failures.
Each child at Kadimah Academy is exposed to learning in various multi-aged groups during their school day. He or she may receive individualized guidance or attention at any point, and will progress at his or her own rate, learning what he or she needs to know according to the level he or she is ready to address. Self-esteem is fostered because each child sees his or her own success. Our students do not progress to more difficult work until the simpler concepts are mastered. In this environment, children are far more motivated and have a better attitude towards school, teachers and learning.
A non-graded classroom at the elementary level is also very important socially. Multi-age settings foster cooperative learning skills that are necessary in adult society. Kadimah Academy students learn to work with older and younger peers. Cooperative learning in a multi-age classroom builds a sense of community. Children compete with themselves for individual progress instead of competing against one another or a uniform standard.
This type of learning promotes the best form of motivation: Self-Motivation. Children in a multi-age classroom become more self-reliant. Since students are learning at different rates, the teacher may only instruct part of a class at any given time. Children learn to be more independent, as well as being more helpful to one another. In this supportive, encouraging environment, children who have not succeeded at other schools find that they, too, are capable of progress. This system works just as well for the more advanced student. By exposing these students to more challenging material, they will learn how to learn and will develop the study skills they need for future serious academic pursuits.
Kadimah’s small, multi-aged classes and individualized instruction are based on proven models of how to educate and prepare lifelong learners and admirable human beings.