Located in the historic Currie Barracks, Banbury Crossroads is a Self-Directed Learning School (SDL). Having opened in 1979, Banbury is one of the oldest independent schools in Calgary. With its unique philosophy, it offers an individualized learning environment for children aged 3 through 18.  Banbury Crossroads is founded on mutual respect; thus, it fosters the unique development of each student, while encouraging them to develop the autonomy and confidence necessary for their current and future participation in learning ventures.  This is a low-ratio, student-paced program that exists within a multi-aged setting.  This combination is most conducive to students working at academic levels that challenge them, without penalizing them socially for being either behind or ahead of their peers.  Banbury promotes learning to a level of mastery unique to each student.   Over the long term, individual students achieve the Alberta curriculum according to their own development, interests and motivation.

Intrinsic motivation, time management, goal setting and self-assessment are developed through inquiry-based projects, kinesthetic and community-focussed learning, and meaningful relationships with mentors.  Secondary students are guided to take responsibility for their own education; thus, they devise their own schedules and meet with specialist teachers for tutorial instruction in the core curriculum.  Options include art, drama, Spanish, foods, world religions and art history.  The physical education program includes horseback riding, skiing, wall climbing, dance, archery, golf, racquet sports, soccer, swimming, gymnastics, hiking and canoeing.  In addition to these activities in the community, international travel programs are offered.  Also, all secondary students participate in internships one day per week.  These internships at community businesses and services offer many opportunities for students.  They assess possible career options, develop meaningful and trusting relationships with adults, and cultivate altruistic attitudes and citizenship skills.  They are expected to devise a project that contributes to each organization, and to prepare an Exhibition of their learning.  Through this experience, they come to understand that academic learning within school walls has a living connection with the work that goes on in the world outside those walls.   At Banbury Crossroads, students are not cut off from the world.

Teachers see students as people worthy of dignity and the liberty to make their own choices without infringing on others’ rights.  The well-balanced approach that Banbury uses creates an enriching and positive school experience that prepares them academically, emotionally and socially for post-secondary education and for life.  Further inquiries can be made to the school’s Director, Diane Swiatek, at 403.270.7787, or visit www.banburycrossroads.com.

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