A School Built for Learning


As I (Headwaters Principal Mark Brown) prepare to leave Bermuda word is leaking out that I’m moving on to open a new school.  The question that parents and colleagues invariably ask is “what kind of school is it?”


My first answers are always the bare bones facts.  It’s a JK – Grade 8 school with a focus on outdoor and experiential education as well as entrepreneurship.  We foster independence and innovation and our students meet or exceed the expectations of the Ontario curriculum.  We promise to go beyond the classroom every week during Trailblazer Thursdays.  It is at this point of explanation that teacher’s and parent’s eyebrows start to rise.  And it is at this point that I deliver the punch line: “Our school is inspired by how children learn best.”


We know, as teachers, that:

  • sorting children by age makes very little sense for their learning.
  • 40 minute periods can both be too much and too little time for learning – scheduling needs to be on a human scale.
  • true learning cannot be walled within the domains of ‘math’, ‘language’, or ‘music’… nor can it be confined within four walls.
  • children need daily physical education.
  • the best learning is authentic in nature and solves real problems.
  • children are fascinated by expert community members and by ‘doing’ more so than just ‘learning about’.
  • class sizes of 20 are simply too large.
  • most of the structures in school are in place for the efficiency of the adults rather than the learning of the children.
  • that economy of scale and quality education do not belong in the same sentence.


Please join our conversation on how children learn best and become part of our Headwaters Academy community.  Email us at info@headwatersacademy.ca or visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/headwatersacademy.  We’d love to hear from you.