The Village School farm animals play an important role in teaching. Lessons in respect for all living creatures, reliance and responsibility are taught in very real ways. Respect for and commitment to the environment is also encouraged through the wet lands project that is run on the school property. Adults and children address each other on a first name basis as a way of showing mutual respect and reinforcing that everyone is valued as a worthwhile individual. You’ll find our children are more forthright, expressive, honest and well spoken because we do give them a real voice in the Village School community.
Problem solving, creative thinking and initiative are commonly named as the tools for jobs of the future. Village School children are taught to look for answers and solutions rather than be given them. The school gives children time and ready access to computers, the library, telephone, other staff members and any other resources in their pursuit of answers and solutions.
An important aspect of our philosophy is growing responsibilities as the child grows. This includes: becoming more responsible for one’s own learning, becoming more responsible for one’s behaviours and actions. The aim is for children to develop internal discipline. Through this a real sense of self-respect is gained.
Interdependence is striking the right balance of co-operation and independence. It involves people relying on each other to do their individual parts. The whole school performance is just one important event at the Village School that fosters reliability and real community spirit.
Resilience is all about picking oneself up after a negative experience or a mistake and knowing that you can go on. Village School’s discipline statement recognises that mistakes are valuable learning experiences and encourages children to see their own and other’s in this light.
2015 Prep Now Enrolling
Enrolments are now being accepted for Prep in 2015. Come along to one of our group tours or book a private tour at a time that suits you.
See how our current prep children are thriving in our nuturing and stimulating environment. Speak to Carmel our Prep teacher about the program we offer and find out more about our part time prep program that runs for 2.5 days per week, perfect for those wanting to ease their child into school life.
The Prep Orientation Program that we offer is full of activities for the whole family and runs over a six month period, commencing in June 2014 and finishing off with a teddy bears picnic just before school starts in 2015.
Although 2013 was my first year as principal, it is my privilege to have been associated with Village School since 1985. One of the main reasons for staying so long is my commitment to this school’s educational philosophy which values teacher /child relationships as much as it does literacy and numeracy. We all know the old adage: “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.” This continues to be the over-riding challenge in teaching. Engagement is everything and so many factors have to be in place before it is achieved.
Perhaps the most important factor once the basic needs of hunger, thirst, shelter and safety are met is the need for a sense of belonging; an attachment to significant others (see Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). If children are to feel comfortable about ‘having a go’ and taking risks with their learning, the teacher/child relationship needs to be comfortable and mutually empowering. Our small class sizes allow teachers to develop strong relationships with the children and gain in-depth knowledge about their personalities, learning styles and academic potential.
Another factor that I hold dear is the right to be heard, to be really listened to. When children speak up about their issues and share their ideas at this school, they do so because they know there will be some outcome. It might be a vote at a meeting, it might be a meeting arranged with a teacher, it might be a school excursion and it might even be a whole school event like ‘Dog Day’ which was instigated by a group of students quite a few years ago and is now an annual event.
The challenge for all schools in the 21st century is not only to keep abreast of all the technological innovations that are impacting education on a daily basis, but also to keep sight of the bigger picture which is to educate the whole child in this hectic ever changing world. Practices will come and go but principles are timeless. I hope that each child leaves us with the belief that they have the ability and the means to make real choices about their futures. I hope they learn that not only do they have rights but so do all the people around them. If we can help our children to develop a ‘world view’ showing caring and compassion for others, then we will know that was a job well done.