Education As Atmosphere

"The bracing atmosphere of truth and sincerity should be perceived in every school…"

— Charlotte Mason

The Vine School teachers try to welcome pupils into an atmosphere of beauty and inspiration. Natural light filters into the classroom. Walls display beautiful artwork, wise sayings, maps of faraway places, and nature objects the class gathered. As funds allow, furniture is the work of craftsmen.

Our pupils encounter the past and present, the awe and wonder of science and mathematics, the frailty and nobility of humankind, the ebb and flow of life, and the relationship between authority and obedience. And—free from the burden of competing for grades or rewards—they learn for the joy of learning.

They experience the guiding hand of a teacher who is both loving and firm. Teachers allow pupils to experience the natural consequences of their actions, and to experience the delight and the struggle of everyday life.

All of this is partly due to the school being part of Ambleside Schools International which has an independent curriculum full of rich text containing engaging ideas.

Children walking under an archway of gourd vines and looking up in fascination

“The bracing atmosphere of truth and sincerity should be perceived in every school; and here again the common pursuit of knowledge by teacher and class comes to our aid and creates a current of fresh air perceptible even to the chance visitor, who sees the glow of intellectual life and the moral health on the faces of teachers and children alike.”
— Charlotte Mason

Female teacher sitting on the floor with a small group of Grade 3 children, reading a book

Ambleside / The Vine School teachers cultivate an atmosphere that nurtures:

  • joy and belonging.
  • relationships that include, rather than exclude
  • culture that transcends passing fads
  • pursuit of, and love for, knowledge
  • wonder, as pupils relate to knowledge, others, and God
  • delight in work and in the struggle to grow
  • effort and enjoyment of the fruit of effort
  • rigour, challenge, and opportunities to meet mind-to-mind with great authors
  • variety in work, conversation and focus
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