Are there teachers in Lumiar?
Yes, but their role is different from that of most schools. We have two types of educators at Lumiar: tutor, the main person responsible for a group of students, and master, a professional invited to develop projects with students.
What is the role of tutors?
Tutors are pedagogues or graduates who accompany the groups daily. They are responsible for identifying, valuing and validating the interests of each student and of the group, as well as ensuring that the proposals are pedagogically adequate to address individual and collective learning needs. Students stay with the same tutor for two or three years. This makes them know each one deeply.
It is also their function: to bring different subjects to the group – increasing everyone’s repertoire and encouraging students to always develop new interests; to carry out the articulations of the projects with the masters; register and reflect on the journeys of each student and of the group; monitor individual projects; organize Circle and Readings the World with the group; conduct meetings and communicate with the families of students in your group.
Do tutors and teachers work together?
Yes. Tutors are group mediators and managers, responsible for actively working in the organization of all projects in partnership with the masters, having access to planning, records and evaluations at all times.
How do the multi-age groups work at Lumiar?
In the Lumiar methodology, students are grouped into multi-age cycles. They remain formally enrolled in the grades equivalent to their age as in the traditional school organization, but attending their Lumiar cycle.
I1: students up to 2 years old
I2: students aged 2 to 4 years
I3: students from 4 to 6 years old
Elementary School I and II
F1: students aged 6 to 8 years (1st to 3rd year)
F2: students from 9 to 11 years old (4th to 6th year)
F3: students aged 12 to 14 (7th to 9th year)
M1: students aged 15 to 16 (1st and 2nd years)
M2: 17 year old students (3rd year)
And what are “cycles”? How do they work?
The cycles are the fixed reference groups, composed of students of similar ages.
The students who make up these groups remain formally linked to the school year equivalent to their age in legal terms, as well as in official documentation. Each school year, they continue through the following school years, even remaining in the cycles for a period of up to three years. Thus, each school year, the cycles are composed of different students.
These fixed groups for the current school year will build their identity and work rhythm by being managed in a participatory way by a tutor. Thus, they create their routine, plan and carry out projects and other organizational modalities of school work, having their own and unique path for each passing year.
Each cycle has its own structure and organization, but moments of meeting, exchanging and working with other cycles are also foreseen, both with all its members at the same time and between some of the a) members of each group. That is, multi-age exists within cycles and between cycles.
Projects and curriculum
Does Lumiar follow the curriculum proposed by the MEC?
Yes. Like all Brazilian schools, we use the Base Nacional Comum Curricular (BNCC) as a parameter to build our curriculum. It is composed of two matrices: one of competencies and skills and the other of content, which are both contemplated in projects and other school practices. In addition, the curriculum at Lumiar is not linear, that is, we do not follow a pre-established route because we always start from the interests and pedagogical needs of students to plan our educational actions. The Mosaico platform makes it possible to follow the individual path of students, mapping the path of each one in the coverage of the complete curriculum.
I didn’t quite understand how the idea of working with projects and skills works. And the contents?
The projects deal with diverse and transversal themes, connecting more to authorial productions to be carried out, questions to be answered and skills to be developed than to a discipline itself. Imagine that students are interested in exploring political issues. From the discussion about geographic and historical concepts of different selected places, they create a project whose objective is the authorial conception of a country. For this, they will not only research and explore geography (cartography, borders) and history (conflicts, customs), but also Portuguese/English language (text production, stylistic resources and argumentation) and arts (constitutive elements of visual arts, cultural heritage), since, to create their country, they will need to think about several elements: language, flag, location, history, people, culture, among others. In addition, skills related to flexibility of thought, global awareness and collaboration are mobilized, essential for the construction of critical thinking.
Does the school seek to encourage projects to have practical proposals that are connected to the real world?
Certainly! There is a process of listening, negotiation and mediation between the educator and the students to make this happen.
Everything at Lumiar starts with a survey of individual and group interests and needs. Different activities and conversations are carried out to structure what students would like to learn and what they need to learn/develop according to their stage of development.
An example of what happened with a Infantil 3 group (4-6 years old) at Lumiar Pinheiros: the children said they would like to build a “machine to save nature”. The tutor did some research to identify environmental issues related to the current moment and presented these themes to the students. By doing some Reading the World activities and talking about it, they understood that human beings are not using natural resources properly. Thus, one of the conclusions of the group was that the use of water could be more conscious, which would help nature. Based on this reflection, the group decided to build a cistern for Lumiar Pinheiros and, for that, they had the support of a very special master, Damião, responsible for maintaining the school.
Do students undertake multiple projects at the same time? How does this happen?
Yes. The groups’ routine is composed of several projects on different themes, which take into account multiple areas of knowledge and also the interests and learning needs of students. Thus, every term, tutors carry out this survey, masters are called and the organization is carried out considering the following parameter:
I1, I2 and I3:
F2 and F3:
M1 and M2:
It is worth mentioning that, in addition to the projects, there are also modules, workshops, Reading the World activities, Circles, commissions, reading moments, study periods and individual projects, which form part of Lumiar’s routine.
How does the assessment work at Lumiar? Do they make tests or not?
Assessment at Lumiar seeks to record evidence of learning, skill development and content understanding throughout the process. In addition to the assessment of tutors and masters, students also perform self-assessments constantly.
We can use different evaluation instruments, and they are always chosen according to the proposal to be evaluated and the purpose of this evaluation – reports, posters, photographs, audio files, debates, presentations, among others.
The creation of a podcast, for example, can be a great instrument to assess whether students understand the contents worked on in a project, if they can express themselves orally, produce a good script and read with ease. Setting up an exhibition, on the other hand, requires students to get in touch with what has been learned, reviewing and selecting materials, producing texts and organizing the show, evidencing not only the understanding of the contents studied, but also the development of skills related to task management, expressiveness and collaboration.
Tests are also assessment tools, and we understand that they can work to assess certain content and skills.
How is the participation of families at Lumiar?
We understand that the relationship between school and families must be a partnership, therefore, we are always available for dialogue. Throughout the year, they are invited to participate in individual meetings with the tutor and can request them whenever they feel the need.
Families can contact educators and the pedagogical management to deal with the students’ particular issues, and also participate in collective meetings, along with other families, to discuss more general questions.
In addition, we encourage the participation of families in students’ school life – in actions that guarantee access to and use of pedagogical practices and in social experiences promoted by the school. Therefore, if they wish, they can contribute by sharing their passions, participating in commissions, performing a Reading the World and/or applying to be masters.
How do families access what students are learning?
Families have access to the routine and projects developed by their children, both in the current school period and in previous periods, through the Mosaico platform. In addition, they also view reports produced by masters and tutors, as well as evidence of learning and assessments.
At the end of a school term, families have access to the term report. This document contains the mosaic of their children, information and assessments of all the projects the students have developed, assessments of everyday skills and areas of knowledge and the final report written by the tutor, with impressions and evidence of student development.
How is the use of digital technologies at school?
We believe that working with different types of technologies is extremely important to connect students with the present and the future.
We use digital technologies in ways that are meaningful to students and that actually add to their learning – that is, not just a use for its own sake. In addition, we are concerned and attentive to possible exaggerations of use, a challenge for everyone today.
Students from the cycle F2 have a tablet as teaching material. It is used as a research and registration tool, and facilitates access to the Mosaico platform. Younger students also use digital technologies sparingly, without unnecessary contact with screens.