School day-to-day life and organization
How many students are in each class?
Cycle I2 – about 15 students per group
Cycle I3 – about 18 students per group
Cycle F1 – about 20 students per group
Cycle F2 e F3 – about 24 students per class
Cycles M1 e M2 – about 30 students per class
What is the students’ daily routine like?
The routine at Lumiar is diverse. Every day students experience different proposals: projects, workshops, World Readings, moments of individual and collective study, moments of reading, breaks, free time, and playing. There are also moments of tutoring, when tutors work with the group on reflections about events, questions about time management and project tasks.
The students have homework assignments?
Homework assignments are not sent daily, but contextually and according to the development of the projects and of each student. There is, therefore, the possibility of some activities being sent home, but there is no pre-established frequency. Besides this, the students have moments for individual study (study period) during the routine, when they can do these activities at school.
What is the adaptation like for students coming from other schools?
Before the beginning of the year, at the beginning of the activities, families and students participate in a one-on-one meeting with the class tutor. It’s an important moment for them to get to know each other and talk about talents, passions, challenges, well-developed skills, and those the student still needs more support with, thus bringing relevant information for the educator to help the student go through this adaptation moment as smoothly as possible. Throughout the routine, there is also the possibility of individual monitoring and support groups to help in certain areas that need attention.
In the cycles I1, I2 e I3, the adaptation is done carefully, with the staff always observing the child and understanding the process in a personalized way. The dialogue and partnership with the families is important to help the child feel more and more secure, understanding contexts and needs of everyone involved so that, little by little, she can be in the school environment without the need of a guardian. As the classes at Lumiar are multigrade, there is always a great movement of new students coming from other cycles. Therefore, everyone is very used to the process of arrival and departure of colleagues and there is a legitimate desire to welcome and integrate new members, with the tutor always being attentive to any challenges that may arise.
Does Lumiar have recuperation? Can a student repeat a year?
At the end of each trimester, we hold a class council with all the class educators – tutors, assistants, teachers – and the management team – professionals from the educational guidance office, directors, and coordinators – to discuss the development of each student in all areas.
If educators believe that a certain student needs to review some specific skills or content, he or she is offered the possibility of doing an individual project or activity in a personalized way, according to his or her needs. Each year and each multigrade cycle has corresponding learning expectations, that is, skills that are expected to be developed over these years. If, at the end of a period, a student has not been able to satisfactorily develop certain skills, even with the opportunities for recovery, and the class council understands that this will lead to difficulties in following the next year, this student is retained.
When students leave Lumiar, what grade do they go to?
Even though they attend a multi-grade cycle at Lumiar, students remain formally enrolled in the grades/years equivalent to their age. Therefore, if they leave Lumiar, they will be enrolled in the corresponding grade at another institution.
What happens to students who need to leave Lumiar and go to a traditional school? Do they adapt?
The way we work at Lumiar favors the development of autonomy and responsibility. This contributes to the fact that, if students change schools and come across some content that other classmates have already seen and they haven’t, or vice-versa, they can have the discernment and skills developed enough to understand what they already know and what they need to study/learn, having a smooth adaptation to other models. As we follow these transitions, we have data that they stand out a lot in issues related to participation, questioning, and reflection, as well as demonstrate that they can connect different content and knowledge areas, making evident their interest and passion for learning. This makes it much easier for them to deal with any challenges that may arise.
Does Lumiar Porto Alegre have a canteen or provide snacks for students?
Food at Lumiar is outsourced. The meals are selected by a team of nutritionists and served at the school, without the need for the student to bring food from home. We offer a snack in the morning, lunch and fruit in the afternoon, with the possibility of an additional snack if the student chooses to remain at school for extracurricular activities.
Does Lumiar Porto Alegre adopt any kind of uniform or specific clothing?
Not currently. We believe in clothing as a valuable form of expression and in the importance of respecting the individuality and tastes of each one. However, many students have already requested that the school adopt an optional uniform. Some classes at the school are even participating in a campaign to create the pieces.
Does Lumiar Porto Alegre offer extracurricular activities?
Yes, Lumiar Porto Alegre offers extracurricular activities during the afterschool period.
Every trimester, we review the students’ interests to offer proposals that make sense for them.
Can students use and carry cell phones at school?
There are no restrictions on bringing a cell phone to school, but tutors and students make agreements regarding its use within the group and at specific times of the day, ensuring appropriate and healthy use for each age group.
Does Lumiar Porto Alegre accept students who are not fluent in English? How do they keep up?
Yes, everyone is welcome! We work with groupings by English communication skills within the projects. Therefore, we receive students at the most varied levels, and each one is given challenges appropriate to their language skills. We do not understand the English language as something students need to learn for a job interview ten years from now; it is something for now – to understand the music and movies they like, to communicate with people from other countries, to expand their cultural repertoire within the projects they are working on. Thus, the language is seen as a bridge.
What is the English-Portuguese division like in practice?
Much of the routine happens in English, since we believe that exposure to and encouragement of communication in this language expands the possibilities of developing communication skills.
The projects may be conducted in Portuguese or in English, depending on the context. For example, if the students are interested in learning more about capoeira or better understanding the Brazilian electoral process, it makes sense for the project to be conducted in Portuguese, as it relates to the history of our country. However, if the interest is rugby, a sport that originated in England, or international geopolitics, it makes sense that the project is conducted in English, since many research materials will be found in that language, and there is the opportunity to develop reading and speaking skills in context.
Within the English projects, the children and young people are grouped according to their language abilities and have different goals, so that they can develop within their possibilities at the moment. The main objective is that everyone understands that learning this language increases the possibilities of understanding the world, since it increases the cultural baggage, the entertainment possibilities, the sources of research and information, and serves as a bridge to communicate with people from other countries, among others.
Kindergarten classes use English more intensively; approximately 70% of the class routine happens in this language. In the Elementary and High School cycles, English takes up about 50% of the routine.
Are all the people at Lumiar Porto Alegre fluent in English?
All tutors and assistants are.
Does the school have any English certification?
We have a partner school that offers optional Cambridge University Assessment tests.
Is Lumiar Porto Alegre an IB (International Baccalaureate) school?
What support does the school offer for students who are interested in studying abroad in the future?
We are always focused on the interest of each student, trying to understand their particular pedagogical needs, so that they can realize their plans and personal goals in the future. In this case, it is the tutor’s role to build, together with the student, the path for him/her to reach his/her study abroad goal, following his/her planning and pointing out the necessary tools for this.
The individualized look helps the student to understand his or her difficulties and facilities in the language and, thus, reach fluency more easily. The teaching can be customized with a greater load of English, for example, for students who wish to practice more of the language – it is possible to do this in their individual projects, during the school term.
How does communication take place between families and Lumiar Porto Alegre?
The daily school communication happens through an application, in which families, educators, management, administrative staff and other school agents have their profiles and can exchange messages. For urgent issues, contact is made by phone. It is also always possible to schedule meetings with educators and the management team.
Relationships and diversity
Who has closer contact with the students?
The tutor is the educator responsible for closely following the daily development of each student, understanding what skills still need to be worked on, what their interests, ambitions, talents, and particular goals are. There are also assistants and interns, who give support to the tutors and support to the students.
What is done when there is a conflict at school?
It is not consistent with our methodology to apply punishment, nor is it the role of any member of the school community to stifle conflicts. It is up to the adults, in this sense, to use a sensitive look to understand the need of each relationship and the moment, assuming a mediation posture that allows the sides involved in the conflict or disagreement to achieve a mature and courageous reflection on the conditions that generated the crisis, the recovery of the unfolding of the facts and the necessary assumption not of “guilt” over what happened, but of shared responsibility for the necessary steps to reestablish good coexistence.
How does the school care for the students’ emotions?
The development of social and emotional skills permeates the Lumiar curriculum in all groups. Our competence matrix offers the possibility of working on different skills related to this axis, such as resilience, metacognition, self-confidence, and self-management, in a transdisciplinary way. These skills are mobilized throughout the year in different projects, and the Mosaic platform gives us the opportunity to map, monitor, and evaluate each one of them, providing a view of each student’s development. The tutor, the main person responsible for the class, follows the students throughout their routine, creating bonds and ensuring a healthy emotional development from Kindergarten to High School.
The school day-to-day is permeated by relationships with several people in different spaces at all times, since our students move all over the school. Thus, we promote an environment conducive to the development of empathy, cooperation, and self-regulation. Moreover, in their activities, students are encouraged to develop active listening, to express themselves, to identify and understand their emotions, and to respect others, which contributes to a favorable environment for learning. There is also the possibility of support from the guidance counselor when necessary (including the bridge with eventual support professionals outside the school).
How does the school teach students about values and sense of community?
At Lumiar, in addition to incorporating elements of participative management in learning, by means of the construction of projects that meet their interests and needs, the students participate in group meetings and school assemblies so that, collectively, they deliberate on the school rules and agreements. Participatory management, one of our pillars, encourages children and young people to understand their role and that of other people in a community, thus enabling the development of important skills for life in society.
How is diversity promoted at school?
Promoting and valuing diversity is a pillar of Lumiar. Each student is seen in his/her individuality and respected within his/her particularities, therefore the coexistence with people from different origins, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, and disabilities is of fundamental importance to us. The work with teachers also enhances the promotion of diversity, because we often have the opportunity to receive in our community new people with diverse skills, personalities, and worldviews, increasing the students’ repertoire.
How does Lumiar Porto Alegre deal with inclusion?
Our methodology is based on a personalized look at each student, understanding that everyone has talents and challenges. Therefore, people with disabilities and students with learning difficulties are also welcomed in their needs. Before enrolling in Lumiar, the child or youngster and his or her family participate in a conversation with the school’s educational guidance office to make it possible to understand the context. This professional closely follows each student with disabilities and/or learning difficulties and draws up the IEP – Individualized Educational Plan, to be developed together with tutors and teachers. In this way, we consider what adaptations can be made to enable the full development of this student.