At Compass School, we believe that a community in which everyone feels safe is a prerequisite for the healthy development of a person, their self-esteem, internal motivation, the courage to set ambitious goals and learn from mistakes.

we are crew, not passengers

The culture of Crew inspires all members of a school community to work together as a team, take responsibility and support each other. Staff and students help their colleagues and peers to conquer new heights and achieve ambitious goals that exceed initial expectations. Crew is a place where all students feel they belong and can succeed.

The term “crew” comes from educator Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound and “the father” of expeditionary learning, who used to say: “We are crew, not passengers, strengthened by acts of consequential service to others”.

The basic ingredients of Crew meetings are*:

  • Coming together in a circle that gives every member equal voice, value, and visibility
  • Building relationships through brave, honest, and respectful communication
  • Focusing on social and emotional skills, character, and academic mindsets as interwoven strands
  • Creating opportunities for students to become leaders of their learning and their lives

The culture of crew extends beyond the school walls to relationships with families and community members.

* As outlined in We Are Crew: Chapter 3: Creating a Structure of Crew

bilingual education

Bilingual education influences the child’s intellectual development, including their non-linguistic skills. Learning two or more languages stimulates brain development, particularly in areas associated with memory, problem-solving, and critical thinking. The process of constantly switching between languages strengthens the brain’s executive function, leading to enhanced multitasking skills and greater cognitive flexibility. At the same time, learning a foreign language enriches the child’s communication with tools necessary in the modern globalised world, such as multicultural perspective, empathy, tolerance to differences, and openness to diversity.

Since language immersion is the most effective way to learn a language, we are dedicated to creating a bilingual environment in which children learn a foreign language in a natural and authentic way, engaging in project work under the supervision of an adult who speaks that language.

project-based learning

At Compass, children learn through authentic, real-life projects called learning expeditions. They can take place both in the school and in different parts of the city and allow students to learn about challenges, resources, organizations and processes in the city, cover school curriculum, and at the same time develop skills and character traits such as responsibility, creativity, cooperation, empathy, agency and growth mindset.

Children set goals for their own learning and personal development, improve communication and teamwork skills, and take responsibility for their learning.

edukacja projektowa

Pedagogies that inspire us

szkoła ekspedycyjna

In our curriculum, we use the following research-based progressive educational methods and approaches:

  • Expeditionary Learning (EL Education)
  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC) / Empathetic Communication
  • Harvard PZ Visible Thinking and Making Learning Visible)
  • Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey
  • The Reggio Emilia pedagogical philosophy
  • Maria Montessori’s pedagogy
  • Janusz Korczak’s pedagogy

Three dimensions of development

At Compass, we use a holistic approach to education, which involves the overall development of the child, i.e. physical, intellectual, emotional, social and creative. Inspired by the EL Education model, we view student development as a synergy of

  • character development (social and emotional skills),
  • mastery of knowledge and skills,
  • high-quality student work.

Each of these three dimensions is extremely important for us and we devote sufficient time and energy to each of them.

character development

  • Ambitious and capable learners
  • Healthy and confident individuals
  • Ethical and empathetic people who work together and collaborate
  • Contributors to a more just and equitable world

mastery of knowledge
and skills

  • Demonstrate proficiency and deeper understanding
  • Apply their learning
  • Think critically
  • Communicate clearly

high-quality student work

  • Create complex work
  • Demonstrate craftsmanship
  • Create authentic work
  • Create work through multiple iterations and feedback