Designed for Learning
The Innova Academy environment is designed to be warm and welcoming and to provide flexible and engaging spaces for learning, collaboration, communication and celebration and socialization and networking. It is designed to be exciting and comfortable. It recognizes that teaching and learning pedagogies have changed towards individualized and personalized learning approaches and learning requires many types of spaces, specialist facilities and furniture.
The learning environment has been carefully designed to incorporate these beliefs and to be flexible and adaptable to learning and working approaches over the next 20 years. It incorporates a more open plan approach to learning spaces than the traditional single cell classroom focused on the teacher standing at a whiteboard lecturing to a class.
Just as it is challenging to find water in a desert, we believe it is challenging to be inspired or be creative in an environment that is grey and lifeless. As such, we have taken great care to create a stimulating learning environment on campus that provokes inquiry and appreciation, responds to different styles of learning, and also reflects an appreciation for Chinese cultural heritage. Our Library and Media Centers and our China Studies ‘Teahouse’ Centre, are good examples of this philosophy, becoming spaces for cultural focus, ever changing exhibitions, cultural studies, workshops, guest speakers and artists in residence. On the first floor, the restaurant, cafe, shop, exhibition space, IT Help Desk, and outdoor plaza merge with the Community Sports, Activities and Action Center on floor 1 of the Sports Center to form a central HUB of interaction for all of our community.
Aspiring to create social, emotional, physical, and virtual environments that people are inspired and excited to come to each day, Innova’s environmental designs are based on leading design principles to support and facilitate student and learning- centered programmes. Our ergonomically sound work tables and benches, for example, come in all shapes and sizes and allow students to sit and stand making every space in the school a place and a space for learning. Spaces excite the senses, foster the imagination and encourage collaboration and celebration. Every space is uniquely designed to connect learners through multi modal approaches, thus also accommodating different learning styles.
Resources are an important part of the learning environment and Innova Academy endeavours to provide a wide range of quality resources to its students and teachers.
Innova provides a comprehensive approach to supporting students in their learning. Our services, which include English Language Support, Enrichment, Special Learning Needs Support, Counseling and Health Services, assist students in achieving success in the school’s programmes. Innova specialists work with families to discuss individual student needs, collaborate on strategies for support and differentiation; and to empower optimum student learning. Students can access these services through self-referral or by request from teachers or parents.
Support is offered through in-class support using an inclusion model and individualized support, as well as through mentoring and one-on- one meetings.
Throughout the school, Pastoral Care is provided by Homeroom Teachers to support students in their organization skills, discuss emergent issues and support personal and character development. In the Middle and High School, homework and study support is provided through learning labs, on-line study support and study hall.
The Middle and High School Pastoral Care programme is an essential time for students and teachers to be together, where a key focus is on building relationships between teachers and students as well as between students. During this time, teachers serve as mentors and have the opportunity to get to know their students outside of the assessed academic subject areas. It ensures that each student has a close professional relationship with at least one adult in the school. Pastoral Care time also allows for incidental teaching of highly important issues, e.g. bullying, study skills, peer pressure, community and service projects, goal setting and self-management.
Across the school, assemblies add to the pastoral care structure and provide opportunities for student leadership, acknowledgement of individual and group achievement and developing a sense of group belonging.
Counselors are a critical part of creating a safe, inclusive and supportive school community, forming strong and trusting relationships with students and families. They work closely with teachers, administrators and other support services to support the social, emotional and academic needs of students. Counselors work at a variety of levels to support teaching and learning in the classroom. They also provide a range of support, such as peer mentoring and regular parent workshops.
Social and Emotional Support
Innova Academy strives to provide a caring and supportive environment and culture that encourages students to ask questions, be innovative and make mistakes and where each individual can be accepted for who they are, included and respected.. It also recognizes that there are times when specialist support services and staff are needed for students, families and teachers to understand issues and better provide the support they need.
Our pastoral care programme is designed to make sure there are teachers looking out for each child – that they are eating well, interacting socially, have friends, are happy, enjoying learning, keeping up with their learning activities and ultimately achieving their potential. This si achieved through an interconnected web of teachers, homeroom teachers, grade level leaders, specialist support teachers, and principals who discuss student issues and individual student concerns. Our counselor provides expert support to teaches, students and parents as needed.
It is our goal that all students enjoy coming to school and never want to go home and that all parents and visitors share a similar experience.