Village High School (VHS) is a new, independent high school in South Gippsland, Victoria, opening in 2020 (subject to VRQA registration).

Village High School will open to year 7 and 8 students in 2020. Year levels will then be added progressively with VHS growing to years 7-12 by 2024.

Students come to VHS from our sister (primary) schools, Koonwarra Village School (KVS) and Phillip Island Village School (PIVS), and also from other primary schools and educational models.

At Village High School we will

  • Provide a progressive, innovative pathway for engaged and motivated high school students in the Gippsland region.
  • Have high expectations of our students, and support them to achieve their goals.
  • Treat all members of the school community with respect, based on mutual foundation of trust.
  • Foster the skills of decision-making and self-management in our students.
  • Explicitly teach cognition, executive skills, and social and emotional awareness to help develop well-rounded people with the capacity to take effective action.
  • Foster respect for the environment and a connection with nature.
  • Ensure that learning experiences are authentic, with direct links to real world experiences.
  • Provide ongoing opportunities for personal growth in students and staff, including opportunities for students to mentor others.
  • Explicitly support and foster strong relationships between students, mentors and families.
  • Champion educational reform in schools and move away from the ‘industrialised’ model of schooling.

School Size

We plan to remain a small school, to allow our students to be known and valued as individuals. When Village High School reaches its full size, it is expected that enrolments will be no more than 120 students across all year levels.

What our students are like

Village High School students will have a ‘spark’ for learning and a willingness to try new things. They will actively participate in and contribute to the school community. Students starting at VHS will have a capability for independent learning and self-management, and some development of social and emotional intelligence. We are careful in our selection of students and assess their fit with the VHS teaching and learning approach as part of our Enrolment Process.

Family Involvement

To deliver a diverse and personalised educational program at VHS, we will work together with families to support students and enable them to follow their interests. This may require families to commit to helping their children with transport or other logistics in order to allow them to pursue some activities.

School Calendar

Like our primary schools, Village High School will operate on a slightly different timetable to other schools. Instead of four terms, we will have eight six-week cycles throughout the year (five weeks of school followed by a one-week cycle break). School will commence at the same time as other schools at the start of the year and finish at the same time at the end of the year. In the middle of the year we will have a two-week cycle break (in line with the Term 2 holidays of government schools). The total number of days that VHS students will be at school is roughly the same as at other schools. We have found that breaking our year into six-week cycles at our primary schools allows students and mentors to be refreshed and fully engaged for the full cycle without experiencing a slump as the term progresses.

Interactions with the wider community

We aim to provide students with authentic learning experiences at Village High School, and this may include utilising the expertise and skills of community members and organising job placements to give students real world experiences.

We will also foster links with the wider Gippsland community and our sister schools. Students will regularly leave campus to visit other parts of the community, spend time in nature and go on camps.

Deciding whether Village High School is for you

At Village High School we are aiming to provide an alternative, forward-thinking educational opportunity. This means that the way we approach teaching and learning may differ significantly from a mainstream high school. Some of the key differences are:

    • We are comfortable with our students learning to manage risks and will scaffold them to develop an awareness of their own physical and intellectual abilities.
    • We promote strong, trusting relationships between students and mentors, and operate on a first name basis.
    • We provide flexibility around learning pathways, and facilitate students to pursue their interests, not always in a linear way.
    • Like a growing number of progressive and democratic schools, we believe that students can develop the ability and skills to manage their own education.
    • We encourage students to have an active say in how their school looks and evolves.
    • We support students to achieve their academic potential, while having a greater focus on personal growth and empowerment than on testing and scores.
    • We believe that fostering passion and creativity will help our children to become adaptable, lifelong learners.
    • We are a school for families who are excited about educational change, and who believe their children have the capability to manage their own learning pathways.
    • We believe that family involvement allows a richer, more diverse educational experience for students, and require willingness from families to help facilitate some of the logistical aspects of their child’s high school education.
    • Our educational philosophy is based on mutual respect and trust, with all members of our school community viewed as equal.

    If the above points align with your personal and family values, then Village High School may be a good match for you and your family.