Transcript of our interview with Jasmine, Vice Principal
What is unique about the Sidney Ledson Institute?
One thing that sets us apart is that there is a constant focus on individualizing the experience. We keep our class numbers and even camper numbers low so that each child is assessed based on their abilities. They're guided based on their individual level. Within that small group setting, they're heard by their peers and by their teacher, and they all have a chance to participate a lot. We also encourage teamwork not just within that class, but across grade levels. And you'll see children of all ages finding their leadership potential.
What type of child is successful at the Sidney Ledson Institute?
It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation here because these are the same traits that the camp helps foster. But it's also a child that comes in with these traits that will really enjoy what we have to offer. So a typical student who would enjoy the camp would be motivated, a team player, and someone who is looking for a challenge and who's interested in discovery. There's really something for everyone because there are so many different activities that cater to children with a variety of interests.
Is your schedule more structured or is it more open?
Because of the sheer number of activities that we provide, structure is important. This helps ensure that each camper is stimulated throughout the day. At the same time, of course, it's important to have children explore their own form of social interaction in an unstructured setting. So we have recess. Whether we're online, onsite, or in a hybrid situation, we find that unstructured social time pretty important.
How do your staff deal with behavioural issues?
We handle behaviour preemptively by focusing on role modelling. All our teachers and administrators are constantly actively showing students what they want to see. We basically practice what we teach. We find that a lot of students that may not have displayed the best behaviour in other schools or camps quickly adjust to this setting, especially with the one-on-one attention they're getting, with the exposure they're getting to these regularly practiced positive behaviours. They practice communication, interaction, and sharing daily.
What do participants value the most about their experience at the Sidney Ledson Institute?
It's without a doubt the confidence they gain with the structure of the camp. This is something that they carry with them. And this is one of the reasons that a lot of our campers actually apply to our full academic year program.
Within small group settings, they're actually heard and they're able to achieve their learning outcomes because they're getting that one-on-one attention even within their peer group. Some children who may be shy in larger settings are able to meaningfully connect with every personality type around them. And the celebration of successes adds to that. And that's something they get. It's something we structure into our program and we do get feedback from the students who fortunately leave with an abundance of confidence.
What message would you give to a new participant at the Sidney Ledson Institute?
I'd say get ready. Get ready to find out how well you can do just about any task put in front of you. If you're shy, you'll be heard. If you like to lead discussions, you'll have plenty of opportunities to do that. If you like to explore tech, enjoy reporting, or if you have a great business idea, you'll have a chance to try it under guided instruction. Get ready to experience the power of your potential, of your voice, and get a taste of your ability to innovate and harness the strength of your critical and creative thinking.