Our School Philsophy is communicated to our school community:
- as part of the pre-enrolment documentation package provided to parents (in the form of “The Green Sheet); and
- via our school
webpage (the page you are now reading).
Chum Creek Primary School is a small, rural, State-run school that caters for children aged from four years and nine months to approximately twelve years of age. At the time of writing our enrolment is 56.
Our school is often chosen by parents who are seeking an alternative to larger, more mainstream schools. We understand and acknowledge this, and to this end we aim to provide smaller class sizes and a more relaxed atmosphere. Staff and students are on first-name terms.
We currently run three composite classes: Prep/Year 1; years 2, 3 and 4; Years 4, 5 and 6. We endeavour to keep our class sizes small and equitable. With this in mind, we are not locked into these class formats.
A Partnership. We see the role of our school as like that of an extended family. Being a State-run school we must conform to Department of Education and Training requirements, however we like to keep the channels of communication between school and home open with a view to having input into the raising of your child. If we have concerns about a child’s development we will express them to the parents. We will not conceal behaviour - or learning - problems from the parents. We assume parents want to know what is going on and that they will, in turn, work cooperatively with teachers in a rational way in their child’s best interests.
Trust. Our staff is eminently qualified and always has the best interests of our students at heart. With this in mind we ask parents to understand and accept that our teachers favour no student over another, and that the activities and experiences we organise are in the best interest of our classes and their composite individuals. We understand that parents want their child to develop appropriate relationships and friendships; we want that, too. To this end we ask that parents trust us to make appropriate decisions on behalf of their children, and treat any children in our care equitably and without bias.
The Whole Child. We aim to develop children mentally, socially, emotionally, morally and physically and the experiences we provide are for the children’s enrichment, so we prefer and expect that all children be involved wherever possible. We think that participation in these activities all contribute to the development of personal confidence. This can be challenging but is not a bad thing and should not be avoided; it is part of the learning process. To attend excursions we require permission slips be completed; however, we regard this is a legal requirement only and not as an opportunity for parents to withdraw their children. All of our activities are safe and well-organised; we would never create a situation where a child is damaged either emotionally or physically.
Pluralism. We embrace a variety of ‘families’: various religious beliefs (or none), various nationalities and origins, politics, and other beliefs. From time to time we may also engage guests, demonstrators and visitors from different countries, backgrounds and disciplines to broaden the students’ minds. We aim to expose our students to a wide variety of world-views. We do not shy away from non-injurious cultural celebrations or history.
Fees. Our school has no fees but like most State-run schools the payment of a Voluntary Levy is encouraged. The proceeds of this levy is used to supplement the costs associated with the programs we provide for our students. The Voluntary Levy amount that we request is revisited each year by School Council but will always remain significantly lower than fees demanded by privately-run schools.
Safety. One of our visions is the empowerment of the individual. We love to see children grow in alertness, independence and confidence. We aim to provide affordable and rich experiences for our students, and we allow them to use simple hand tools, crockery, cutlery, etc. in a supervised environment. We also allow activities within the school grounds that other schools usually don’t: cubby building, riding scooters etc. Our experience is that children appreciate and respect these extra rights as well as the responsibilities that come with them.
Character Development. We believe our students are responsible for their behaviour. We believe this is the true path to responsible citizenship. We do not believe that injury to others or damage to property is necessarily motivated by malice or intent, but nevertheless we do hold students responsible for their actions, and we seek to help them acknowledge, address and if possible rectify them. This policy benefits our students in terms of character-building.
There are no punishment rituals e.g. yard duty, detention. There is of course open discussion about appropriate behaviours: we encourage a high level of trust and cooperation.
Parent Access and Participation. Our Principal makes every effort to be accessible and we have a classroom open-door policy (within reason). Parents are often working and helping on-site. Parents are welcome to visit during school hours and may share in meals and conversations in our kitchen or yard. They are also welcome to attend our Friday Whole-School Meetings. A teacher who has gotten to know a parent may invite them to assist in their class. Some parents who have special talents may be invited to conduct an activity under supervision.
Please note: if you plan to work regularly in the school a Working With Children check is required. Ask at the Office if you would like assistance sourcing one of these.
Academic and Social. A major part of our unwritten curriculum is personal development – the confidence to speak up for oneself or others, to display caring and considerate behaviour, to grow in initiative and responsibility. We enjoy a good academic standard, but it is not appropriate to enrol a child at our school just seeking to get good marks. Our timetable is a guide to our classroom activities, but the teachers may change the scheduled activity at any time.
The Common Good. We feel it is our responsibility to help children develop the ability to cooperate with others and to work in groups. They learn protocols such as taking turns, learning to share, tolerance, accepting the chair that is left, etc. We don’t expect children to come to school with these social skills already established, but we do expect parental support for our efforts to instil the common good in our students.