The Principle of Interdependence
The second principle of Harmony is the principle of interdependence. To embed this principle most effectively, we have linked all our subjects together around each enquiry of learning. Yes, there may be times when we need to teach an aspect of learning discretely, for example when we are teaching phonics or a grammar point or a new maths concept. But for the most part, we are looking at how we can connect subjects together and even work with two or three subjects at the same time. The geometry learning nearly always has a maths element to it, but there are also art and design features to this work and, in deepening our understanding of how the world works, we are often referencing aspects of science, geography or history.
In the season of Autumn, we cross section fruits and vegetables to look at their geometric forms before leading into apple tasting, seasonal soup making and all the language skills and maths weighing and measuring that go with it. We believe that this is the only way to teach because it mirrors the way the world works. We can still deepen children’s knowledge and understanding through this process. In fact, we would argue that it is easier to do when a subject specific concept is taught in a wider, more meaningful context. In human terms we see interdependence in how we work together in our communities. This starts an exploration of how we treat, respect and value one another, how we nurture relationships and how we can pass on traditional skills and wisdom from one generation to the next. To bring this to life, we put a strong emphasis on unlocking community potential and building community partnerships. This may be connecting with local beekeepers to help our children learn more about how brilliantly bees work together. It may be linking with local allotment growers who then teach the children how to grow food and what grows when. It may be learning about the history of our town by speaking to those who have lived here the longest. It may be creating a sewn tapestry through a local arts based project.
Through the principle of interdependence we are helping our children to understand that everything is connected and that every element within the system needs to be valued.