Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Well, a lot has changed since we last wrote. We hope you are all managing ok under the circumstances and have been enjoying some time in nature, soaking up the glorious spring weather and sunshine.
On the day lockdown was called, the core team were together at their monthly meeting, so we are grateful for the chance to connect in person as we had much to discuss.
In this month’s email update:
We propose a new vision for Green Mountain (Community) School which has us moving away from purely a Steiner approach.
We are putting the call out for new team members to assist with securing a school site.
COLLABORATION | Can you help us secure a site?
Gratefully, we have a number of opportunities regarding potential sites for our school and a much clearer vision for the type of land that we need. Our vision includes uninhibited access to nature, outdoor classrooms, eco- buildings, permaculture gardens and food forests on a minimum of 5 acres.
Sounds incredible, doesn’t it?
To date, Michael Collins from our core team has been liaising with various stakeholders and is now at a point where some additional support and expertise is needed.
We are seeking at least two new team members to assist with discussions and negotiations with local land holders, developers, town planners, council and other relevant stakeholders. If you have an interest in this area and/or have professional experience and can spare 1-2 hours per week, then please get in touch with us.
If you know anyone in your circle that has this experience and may want to support our school, we’d be grateful if you could please connect us.
Contact us directly at email@example.com
INNOVATION | What kind of school are we creating?
This is the question that has been top of mind for the core team in recent months and the subject of hours of conversation, research and reading as we tussle with how we want to teach our young learners at Green Mountain School.
The founding group was working towards opening a Steiner School in our region, but as we’ve welcomed new educators and professionals to the core team and we enter the third year of our initiative, our vision has evolved. We have come to the conclusion that we’d like the freedom to create a school with a variety of progressive, research-based pedagogies that are heavily inspired by nature and community.
As such, it is now proposed that Green Mountain School will not be an ‘official’ Steiner School, however our intention is that the Steiner pedagogy will inspire our holistic and creative teaching methodology.
For those who had their heart set on a Steiner school, this news may be met with some disappointment. We understand that. But rest assured, the educators behind this initiative are passionate about building on stories and celebrations that honour Nature and the human spirit, and embracing the creative, rhythmic and gentle approach of Steiner pedagogy.
There are many schools that have gone their own way and created their own unique learning environments. Some that inspire us are Living School in Lismore, Kinma in Sydney and Green School in Bali and NZ. We are proposing that Green Mountain School deliver the NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum and be a progressive, nature-inspired independent school guided by the following pedagogies/philosophies:
First Nation Peoples Traditional pedagogies, Nature Immersion, Bush School, Permaculture - learning through observation, movement, story, on Country and in community with a long-term outlook
Rudolf Steiner Waldorf approach - learning through holistic integration of spiritual, intellectual, artistic and practical skills
Lev Vygotsky Constructivist approach - learning at the child’s pace with considered scaffolding and companionship by someone who has mastered the task (peer or adult)
Maria Montessori Whole child approach - learning through curiosity, observation and trial + error
Loris Malaguzzi Reggio Emilia approach - learning through self-direction, experimentation, community and expression
Tonia Gray Wilderness education + 7Rs - learning in wholeness about Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic, Resilience, Relationships, Respect and Reflection
Pasi Sahlberg Let the children play - learning through experimentation, exploration and discovery
Our proposed new school statement now looks like this:
Green Mountain Community School Nurturing Inspired Learners We are a progressive, independent school initiative based in the northern Shoalhaven offering holistic, experiential and outdoor learning that is child-led and grounded in Nature and Community. Our goal is to provide children with an education that encompasses their whole ecology - place, community, culture, family, head, heart and hands. They leave us empowered to shape a sustainable future and create their place and purpose in the world. ________ What do you think about this new vision for Green Mountain (Community) School? What is most important to you in a school for your children? What type of environment do you think your children will thrive in? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Until next month, warm regards, The Green Mountain School Core Team.
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