Did you know that there are 208 Independent Schools in Victoria?
Forty-five of those schools have enrolments of less than 100, catering to 2632 students. That’s an average of 58 students per school.
Eighteen of those 45 schools, of which we are one, have enrolments under 50. There are 560 students in those 18 schools. That’s an average of 31 students per school.
Small schools exist for many reasons but probably the most important is to give families choice. There are independent schools with cultural foundations, religious affiliations, distinctive teaching and learning methodologies (Steiner, Montessori, etc.) or unique approaches to the holistic development of a child (like Maharishi School). The Independent School sector is acknowledged for the choice it offers families to identify a school that shares its own family values and a shared belief in the environment that best suits the development of children.
Parents often worry that their child does not have enough friends to play with or that there are not enough children in the school. We sincerely believe that children adapt to the situation they are in. A larger school has its advantages too but it does not automatically mean that children will have lots of other children with whom they can play. If there are fewer children, then children learn incredibly important skills about cooperation, give and take, working with different personality-types and those with different learning styles. They are put in situations of experiencing so much more across genders as well as across ages from Prep–6.
In addition, we should also consider the opportunities we give our children with out-of-school activities and the friendships made and socialisation that occurs within many of these activities. School is not the only avenue for developing friendships and social skills. Diversity and variety in the people with whom we mix should be encouraged.
It is a heart-warming experience to watch our students play at school during their breaks. What we see is interaction between children of all ages, from Prep–6, and the care that exists between them. We see no disadvantage at all. What we see is opportunity and ultimately, happy children.