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.
How we teach
Children at Village School enjoy learning, as they are guided to develop their own curiosity in topics, resulting in higher understanding of school subjects, and better learning, as well as longer retention.
This aim has been addressed by the Department of Education and Training. Village School has been implementing this since 1982.
Village School provides the unique environment in which to implement this with ease due to smaller class sizes and its carefully planned philosophy.
Academic and Life Skills
Everyone knows the 3 R's - Reading, Writing (Our interactive literacy program takes into consideration the various learning styles of young children, their differing rates of progress and prior knowledge. We therefore incorporate a range of teaching materials and have a focus on phonics), and Arithmetic taught in all schools worldwide. These are the academic skills we need to survive in our society. However in order to be successful in a fast changing world our children are going to need more than that!
Whilst the teacher maintains the learning framework, the children are empowered to plan, structure, self-manage and self-evaluate their own learning. All children need time to reflect on information. This does mean less information is fed to the children and more discussion takes place. By asking well-structured questions we are teaching how to think not what to think.
We aim to create an environment that is warm and friendly - where children can feel happy and secure. Relationships based on acceptance and trust, develop naturally among children, teachers and parents. It's great when children can feel that they can have friendly relationships with their teachers.
Looking to the future
A child will not always be six or seven years old but will eventually live an adult life in the real world. Bearing this in mind, we feel that it is our duty to equip them for this life by giving them real chances to try out life situations in an environment which support them in their efforts, accepts them if they don't make it first time and gives them the skills and confidence to try again and succeed.
"We begin with the hypothesis that any subject can be taught effectively in some 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. No evidence exists to contradict it; Considerable evidence is being amassed that supports it."
J.S.Bruner "The Process of Education" Harvard U.P. 1960