Respect

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.

Resourcefulness

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.

Responsibility

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.

Reliability

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

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.

Village School values

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The need for Village School was conceptualized in late 1981 after three teachers (and members of the Education Reform Association) Carol Glover, Lola Hill and Trevor Stasey confirmed their disillusionment with the prevailing structure.

The teachers started Village School in 1982 with a leased residence on the Maroondah Highway, Ringwood (owned by Penguin Books). After 2 years on the site it was decided to relocate to afford students more space and the school the possibility of growth.

During this time the teachers were considering the current site at 9-13 Holloway Road ( which borders Wonga Park and Croydon North). They were successful in securing a bank loan with a government guarantee and with Croydon Council approving the school for an enrolment of 240 students from prep to year 10, Village School came to occupy its present site.

Till today Village School has successfully maintained the focus of these three teachers using the educational aims of J.S. Bruner:

“We begin with the hypothesis that any subject can be taught in an intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development.  It is a bold hypothesis and an essential one in thinking about the nature of the curriculum.” (This statement was written by J.S. Bruner in 1960.)

Today, this style of school is known as a ‘democratic school,’ awarding students with the responsibilities of running their school alongside their teachers. It means that at Village School the children have a voice and are heard.

Village School educational philosophy and approach

Each home group (class) holds a daily meeting and at the end of each week there is a whole school meeting. Every child in the group experiences (over time) what it is to be able to ‘stand up and be counted’ in their own individual way without fear of being ridiculed for doing so.

At Village School, the aim is to delight and inspire children to be resourceful, independent learners. Students of every age and stage develop learning in different ways and at different rates. Teachers at Village School match the teaching to child’s learning style – not the other way around – by presenting information and skills in a variety of ways. 

Individual differences are celebrated and children are encouraged to develop an awareness of their place in Australian society and the global community. 

Each child is a worthwhile person, respected and valued for who they are. A positive self-concept is considered essential and sometimes the most effective strategies for building self-esteem are not linked to academic performance.  Animals play a big part in the program at Village School and the children take responsibility for goats, chickens, geese and ponies.  An annual school performance provides another vehicle for building feelings of self - confidence and worth.

In our ever-changing world, children need to be able to adapt a wide range of skills, both social and academic, to maximise the opportunities society offers. A good education should provide children with more than just preparation for a successful economic life

At Village School, there is a real effort made to balance the academic program with many life experiences.  Specialist subjects at Village School include Auslan, music, drama, horse riding, gymnastics, modern martial arts, environmental science, animal care and horticulture. Independent thinking and problem-solving skills are fostered as a way of preparing students for adult life. Predicting, checking, monitoring and 'mind mapping' are successful and relevant ways of dealing with information and technology in today's society.

Village School chooses to be an independent, non-sectarian and non-denominational primary school, having no specific affiliations with any other educational establishment or educational system. The school fills an alternative niche in the educational market place.

Village School is committed to its ‘small school’ policy of having no more than 20 children to one teacher in home-groups. This level of involvement and relationship between staff and students allows both philosophical and educational aims to be fully realised. Additionally, the school displays a strong commitment to maintaining its animal farm and wetlands environment, so that 'real life' work experiences form an integral part of the daily curriculum.

"The advantage of a growth school may be summed up in one statement: This kind of school is geared to the child's rhythm of development."

David Elkind, author of "The Hurried Child"