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Last Updated: 5/21/2024 2:09:31 PM EST

School Overview

Oak and Orca Bioregional School is located in Victoria BC and is run by the Bioregional Education Association (BEA), a BC Society and Canadian Charity. The BEA is committed to providing quality programs with an environmental perspective and providing students with an education that works for them.  To this end, Oak and Orca programs are BC Ministry Certified and use a teaching approach that provides freedom of expression and choice while following the BC Curriculum.

Why teach at Oak and Orca Bioregional School?

As a values-based organization, bioregionalism, critical thinking, consensus, and compassionate communication are woven into the educational approaches, policies and procedures, and organizational infrastructure at Oak and Orca.  With a growing Distributed Learning (DL) program, Nature-Rich Pre-Primary School, K-12 Brick and Mortar School, and Forest School, our educators provide wholistic, inquiry-based, and experiential learning opportunities from a distance, in the classroom, on field trips, and in the forest. Our educators follow the students’ lead and gently guide them to learn naturally.

Values-Based Teaching Practices

Oak and Orca is a values-based organization that approaches education differently than most schools. While these values inform our practice in a multitude of ways, there are some general practices that are consistently used in the school which are different from a typical school setting:

  • Bioregionalism
  • Compassionate Communication
  • Consensus
  • Student Autonomy
  • Hands-On
  • Ungraded
  • Multi-Age Groupings

Our Unique Programs

Hands-On Home Learning – K-12 (DL)

Students enrolled our DL program receive teacher support, unique learning materials, and gentle anecdotal assessments of their learning. Families receive the benefit of a supportive program and guidance towards creating child-led, inquiry-based learning within the framework of the BC curriculum.

Our high-school program offers a creative and multi-disciplinary approach to the high school, allowing students the flexibility to learn what they are most interested in for course credit.

Oak and Orca Bioregional School (Brick and Mortar)

Pre-primary (ages 3-5):

Oak and Orca Pre-primary school is a school for children aged 3-5 years. While this is a licensed child-care facility, In this unique program, Oak and Orca philosophies and instructional practices are interpreted for a younger audience and play-based educational opportunities (with lots of time outdoors) are provided for young children.

K-12 School:

Oak and Orca School is an intentionally small learning community. We offer full-time schooling as well as blended programs in conjunction with our DL program and have approximately 50 students on site.

Forest School (K-8):

Led by qualified wilderness mentors and BC certified teachers; our Bioregional Forest School offers outdoor educational programming two days a week.

The Community

In 1999, before the school opened, a set of guiding principals were created which shaped Oak and Orca’s school philosophy. The society that operates the school is guided by these principals and the school’s constitution in making unified decisions.

Guiding Principles:

  • We believe in children’s intrinsic ability and need to learn.
  • We trust the children to choose what, how and when they learn within the learning environment.
  • We strive for education of the whole child: body, mind, heart and spirit.
  • We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment where children, parents, teachers and mentors can teach and learn together.
  • We value democracy: children and adults participate equally in age-appropriate decisions.
  • We strive to create an educational culture which is tolerant and supportive of individual expression.
  • We support cooperative learning and cooperative play above competition.
  • We value simplicity and support local, ecologically sound economies.
  • We respect the integrity of the natural environment in which we live.
  • We strive to connect children to nature and to a diversity of people in their community.
  • We believe that a bioregional focus will give children the tools to work toward a more sustainable and fulfilling society

Draw for Employees

A child-centred approach to education and a focus on bioregionalism make working at Oak and Orca a unique experience. If you want to explore alternative approaches to education and if you enjoy working as a team in values-based organizations, this could be a good fit for you.

Application Requirements

Please read all sections of our website including but not limited to the “Work With Us” section, where you will find our application form and process.

Please submit responses to our application questions along with a resume.  Please ensure your application clearly states your teaching qualifications and experience.