Village School is an independent, non-sectarian and non-denominational primary school. We take a holistic approach to education.
We continue to endorse the sentiments of the three founding teachers of Village School who chose to quote the American educationalist J.S. Bruner.
“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
We aim to inspire young children to discover and learn in a supportive, caring environment.
We celebrate individual differences while at the same time encouraging children to develop an awareness of their place in Australian society and the global community. We support them as they grow to understand their role in supporting and caring for each other, all living creatures and the natural environment.
Although our approach has some characteristics in common with other holistic educational philosophies including Reggio Emilia, Montessori, Steiner/Waldorf and Earthschooling, we have no specific affiliations with any particular educational establishment or educational system.
Successful implementation of our ethos requires small group sizes, flexibility, experience and above all a whole-school commitment to ensure its ongoing growth.
Our approach is underpinned by a number of beliefs, outlined below.
Each child is unique
Children are individuals with varied experiences. We acknowledge that children learn at different rates and in different ways so knowledge outcomes vary from one child to the next.
Each child is a worthwhile person, respected and valued for who they are. In our ever-changing world, children need to be able to adapt a wide range of skills, including social and academic, to maximise the opportunities which society offers.
Learning for life
We operate from the understanding that a child will not always be six or seven years old, but will eventually live an adult life in the real world.
It is our duty as a community of parents and educators to equip them for this life by giving them real chances to try out life situations in an environment which will support them in their efforts, accept them if they don’t make it the first time and give them the skills and confidence to try again and succeed.
We foster thinking and problem solving skills as a way of preparing our students for adult life, including the use of predicting, checking, monitoring, and mind-mapping as successful and relevant ways of dealing with information and technology.
Learning through mistakes
We encourage children to take risks in a non-threatening, supportive environment in order to develop realistic, problem-solving skills.
We promote learning as an exciting, enjoyable and ongoing life experience and foster creative thinking and individuality in a cooperative (rather than a competitive) environment.
Learning through play
If you don’t play with something, you never really find out how it works. Through play, we discover, learn and acquire fundamental skills and understandings.
Students practice, develop and apply these skills and understandings to become responsible for their own learning.
Learning should not be restricted by subject boundaries. A flexible curriculum content enables themes to be selected for both their intrinsic value and their relevance.
Subjects are relevant to the children, the local community, the world community, the school community and the local environment.
Ownership of learning
If you don’t own your learning, it’s not yours to keep. 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 exploring less information but engaging in more discussion. By asking well-structured questions we are teaching for thinking.
Discipline from within
The approach to discipline at Village School flows directly from that of social development, which intends to give the children growing responsibilities for themselves and their actions and is based on respect for their rights and the rights of others.
The aim is for the students to develop an internal discipline: to do something because it is ‘the right thing to do’ rather than a reliance on external discipline – ‘I’ll do this or I’ll get into trouble’.
Consideration will always be given to the safety and welfare of the individual, other students, staff, the school community and animals.
We celebrate and appreciate the rich diversity of the children within our school.
Our educational philosophy is underpinned by the concept of liberalism and tolerance, and promotes humanitarian concerns such as inclusiveness, equity and universal rights.
It follows that Village School does not endorse or favour any particular religious, cultural or political belief but prefers to consider and compare all ideas and doctrines in the spirit of intellectual inquiry.
Mixed age groups
Home groups are multi-aged to enhance the educational and social needs of the children. After all, are all your friends the same age as you?
Cross-age interactions and peer tutoring allow opportunities for developing cooperative and leadership skills. A multi-aged group is a less competitive and is a more stimulating learning environment.
This provides a more natural environment which allows the children to form friendships beyond their year levels. This in turn enhances self-worth and provides the basis for a variety of positive relationships in the wider community.
The fundamental idea of mutual respect between children and adults at Village School facilitates the growth and development of responsibility in each individual.
All adults and children address each other on a first-name basis to reflect this mutual respect.
The teachers promote integrity and are honest role models for the children, with an appreciation of humour that allows the children to relax and learn from any situation.
We do not dictate dress standards, or styles.
There are a couple of safety issues related to horse riding attire, e.g. gumboots, or riding boots and no bare legs; and wearing boots when working in the farm or the wetlands.
We also wear hats in terms one and four as part of our sun safe policy.
Other than this, students are free to wear whatever they choose.
Parents and carers are welcome
Parents, carers, teachers and children work together to set and achieve individual student goals.
The presence of parents provides continuity between home and school, enhancing and reinforcing our mutual beliefs and practices.
Read how we implement our unique educational approach in our Philosophy Document.
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