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PHILOSOPHY

Our philosophy of education is founded on democratic principles, with the belief that people affected by a decision should have a voice in that decision. 


At our school children can explore their interests at their own pace, in their own way. When children are guided with kindness and respect in a setting that allows this freedom to discover, they thrive.

Autonomy

Personal freedom; in this context is the ability to take charge of one’s own learning. Children learn out of interest and curiosity, so it makes sense that they have some autonomy in what and how they want to learn. We don’t all learn the same way and don’t all find the same things interesting. When children have no autonomy, boredom is often the result.


The main characteristics associated with autonomous learning are resourcefulness, adaptability, initiative, and persistence.

This looks like:

• Individualised learning programs designed with the students and family; we help students approach the curriculum in a way that suits their own learning styles, preferences and personality.

• Student participation in school decision-making; for example through student councils and student-teacher-administrator committees.

• Honouring individual needs and encouraging the development of our own judgement; eg. Children determine when to eat, when to take a break, etc.

• No rewards, shame, bribery or punishments.

Liberty

Liberty is differentiated from freedom in that it takes into account the rights of all involved. As such, students learn that with rights comes responsibility. Children need practice in order to become good decision makers and problem solvers, and taking risks is an important part of growing and learning. While our school encourages student self-management we understand that the natural progression from childhood into adults requires some guidance and will assist children in recognising responsible action and their consequences in a safe and nurturing way where necessary.


This looks like:

• Everyone has a valid and valuable voice.

• Encouraging students to negotiate, take risks and set boundaries.

• An egalitarian organisational structure and operation.

• No “boss” but clear leadership; mutual respect between adults and children.

• No uniforms, use of first names for adults and children.

• Preference to natural consequences and reflection (guided when necessary).

Joy

What is learnt in joy is never forgotten. Time and again research shows that it is through play that children discover and acquire fundamental skills and understandings. It is in their nature to explore, be active and interact with their environment. At Enkindle Village School we place value on our children finding joy in their day to day school life.

This looks like:

• Encouraging and honouring children’s ideas, opinions and choices.

• Striving for peaceful interactions and conflict resolution.

• Play-based learning in the 6-9 years group, as well as dynamic learning environments.

• Conducting a significant amount of learning outdoors, children engage better in a natural environment.

• Valuing character development equal to intellectual development.

Connection

The best way for children to develop an understanding of themselves is to understand the interconnectedness of all things. At Enkindle Village School we value connection at the heart of all of our interactions and activities. When children are spoken to and treated with kindness and respect and encouraged to treat others the same, the result is a nurturing environment where children are free to blossom.

This looks like:

• Cooperation over competition; individual development is measured against each child’s own previous achievements as we acknowledge that children learn at different rates and in different ways.

• A school small by design with flexible and fluid classrooms. A small multi-aged class group structure is less competitive and more reflective of the real world.

• Space and time for children to spend in quiet reflection to cultivate personal development through self-awareness.

• Community orientation through the development of partnerships with local groups/organisations.

• Making children aware of their strong connection to the land through relationships with the traditional culture

of local First Nations people, as well as school participation with various conservation groups.

• A focus on creating sustainable environments and a place where families and guests interact and contribute to the daily life of the school.

Innovation

We cultivate a school environment where children are encouraged to learn the necessary skills to truly prepare them for a successful future. When children are given liberty and autonomy in a nurturing environment, the result is creative and innovative thinking. We also encourage reflection, debate, discussion and evaluation of current educational thought on a whole school level. Understanding that by being open to the latest research we can incorporate the very best of contemporary knowledge about teaching and learning to become more innovative and effective educators.

This looks like:

• Nurturing creativity and imagination in students with the understanding that this is the basis for all human ingenuity.

• Using current findings from progressive education and related fields to improve learning opportunities and student well-being.

• Constantly developing new partnerships within our community to allow us access to cutting-edge technology and resources.