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Alice Miller School


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 4.4 years… However, the expected tenure of the workforce’s youngest employees is about half that. Ninety-one percent of Millennials (born between 1977-1997) expect to stay in a job for less than three years… That means they would have 15 – 20 jobs throughout their working lives!”

Today’s children and teenagers are accustomed to highly varied and motivating leisure time activities, a high degree of autonomy, and many options available to them. Even children from families who are considered low income by Australian standards are wealthy compared to previous generations, and compared to children in the majority of other countries. Travel is second nature to many members of this generation of young Australians: they see the world as a global village. Traditional non-school activities, including regular attendance at places of worship, membership of groups such as scouts, and participation in sporting clubs, decrease in popularity.
There are good and bad aspects of these changes in our society, but it is not helpful to students if schools ignore these profound and continuing developments. The rigid authoritarian structure of schools, which extends to, among other things, curriculum, timetables, behavior management, and subject choices, is at odds with the kind of world today’s young graduates will enter. The structure and practices of Alice Miller and Candlebark Schools are designed to match the world of the 21st century.
Alice Miller School operates primarily through an elective-based, multi-age curriculum model. In Year 7 and 8, the compulsory subjects are English, Maths, Humanities, Art, Music, and PE. In addition to these subjects, Year 7 and 8 students may choose three subjects that they will study for a semester, before changing mid-year. Subjects on offer include Art, Drama, Dance, Music, Guitar Club, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Outdoor and Environmental Studies, History, PE, Motion Media, and a range of language-based electives: Writers’ Studio, The People’s English, Publishing, French, and Text To Performance.
In Years 9 and 10, the only mandatory subjects are English and Maths. All others are electives, involving choices from VCE and other subjects which include French, Art, Drama, Music, PE, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Forensic Science, Outdoor Education, Sustainability, Dance, “Nerd Club” (ICT), Chinese, Philosophy and Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Motion Media, Guitar Club, History, Communications, Writers’ Studio, The People’s English, and Publishing.
We encourage keen and able students in Years 9 and 10 to tackle at least one VCE subject during this time. In exceptional circumstances, Year 8 students may also take on a VCE subject. The last period of the day is dedicated to ‘Sessions,’ which include a range of options such as supervised study, cross country, martial arts, chess, art, writing workshops, choir, band, production rehearsals, ‘Fake News’ analysis, The Imagineers’ Club, and (outside of fire season), Explosions Club.

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