what's on offer

The Learning Space is Child-Centered and Democratic

Alithia is a flexible space, designed to meet the current needs of those in the community and provide facilities, support, activities, tools for innovation, and mentors (4 days per week).

Alithia offers two three-hour blocks (9am-12pm and 12pm-3pm), with the intention of adding another block in the future (3pm-5pm). These blocks will see a change of co-educators / mentors and a change in workshop / activity. Alithia encourages two daily gatherings at the start of each block for connection, reflection and collaborative discussion. Facilitators work with the children to create a space that they treasure and wish to be in. Together, they plan and organise activities based on their current interests. These meetings also help our researchers to discover what works to promote a shift in the education paradigm.

To learn about WHY we have taken the approach outlined below, please see: Young Innovators Hub.

Tuesdays to Fridays

We aim to provide paid, qualified facilitators, as well as encouraging mentors from the community (both volunteer and grant-funded) to run activities, workshops and/or sports. At least one Alithia Co-Educator will be rostered on at all times (in three hour blocks). Please contact us for our child protection policies. All mentors must have WWCC.

Morning Gathering
grounding, switching on, and PlanninG

 

We encourage everyone to come together for a morning gathering of warm ups, connection and planning:

A child’s belonging and identity is partly shaped by the culture that surrounds them as they grow. Each morning we take a moment to connect and do a welcome. We nurture a deep respect for the land on which we stand, Gumbaynggirr Country. 

We then do warm up exercises to switch on our brains and bodies (research shows the importance of brain gym and embodied learning).

We then open discussion around what the kids are interested in, what they are working on and wish to develop or explore, new ideas and inspirations, and plan the workshops ahead (for the week / term etc).

The morning gathering is also a time for the children to create rules together - a chance to reflect on previous days and problem-solve anything that is arising for them.

Throughout the Day
Dynamic learning guided by the children

Each day brings a varied set of workshops and activities depending on the mentors rostered on for the Term and where the children are at in the development of their projects. Children could be continuing a project they've been working on, or starting something new.

Our days are spent outdoors, but we also provide an indoor space with moveable furniture and cushions when the children feel an activity is best suited for that space.

We offer hands-on activities and projects (instigated by the children and developed as a team). Learning occurs through experimentation, exploration, movement, building, workshops, story-telling, role play, music, art, robiotics, cooking, gardening and so on. We ensure the children are exposed to a wide variety of activities that cover everything that is offered in the National Curriculum and beyond. The scope for topics and activities is endless, bound only by the kids imaginations! It's dynamic and inspiring!

There is always a creative art-space and garden-space available so that the children can follow their inner compass, even if it leads away from the group activity. Anytime they feel inspired to dig in the garden, get creative in the art-space, relax with a book, or they just need to move and dance within the space, they can!

Skill development such as reading, writing, mathematics and science are woven throughout the project work, meeting the needs of both parents and children. Loads of fun activities are designed to help convey concepts (i.e. maths and science) through movement and creativity. Facilitators encourage creative and critical thinking, problem solving and imaginative play, which leads to discovery, holistic development and continuously integrating knowledge. Learning is natural and flowing and can change pace at any time. It can move from gentle, quiet and soft exploration to a raging flurry of excited ideas and back again. The spaciousness of our format allows for and encourages flexibility and adaptability.

We work with the traditional custodians of this land to weave culture, language, art and story into our day. By embracing the teachings of our first people and working together, children understand the importance of the elders (past and present), and to be authentically respectful in a holistic environment

We use strategies to enable each child to understand the way in which they uniquely grow and help to nurture this through reflexive learning and portfolios. The main job of the facilitators throughout the day is to facilitate communication and problem - solving, focusing on developing social and emotional intelligence, fostering supportive interactions. Children are continuously supported to problem-solve through situations (with the help of tools such as micro meditations), ensuring they feel empowered and capable of working through things in a positive and respectful way.

Small workshops will also include communication or problem-solving activities (through art or role play etc).


For Example: Tom suggested a few weeks back that the group build a fort and the kids loved that idea and have been developing it Nature Play workshop time. They've researched and engineered ideas, drawn up plans, and worked out what else they need. They've brainstormed fundraising ideas to raise the money to buy some of the materials and have decided to run a food stall at the local market this weekend.

 

Eating
Again, it's flexible!

True learning makes for hungry bodies! Children are encouraged to eat as they need it, at any time of the day.

We aim to have a sit-down meal together in the middle of each day at the end of the first block.

Afternoon Gathering
Meditation , Reflection And Planning

After lunch the second block starts with a gathering that involves a small meditation, followed by time to journal in a child's own portfolio. Research shows that mediation and journalling is core to a child's development.

This also includes time for an individual to reflect on their learning journey and ideas, with discussions, story telling and idea development / planning.

The children are responsible for keeping their learning space tidy and there is time for a collective cleaning bees twice in each day, everything from sweeping to putting bins out.

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Parents are empowered to be part of their child's learning journey

Alithia Learning is founded and run by a group of engaged parents. We are here to support home-educating families and those in need of support, and are directed largely by your input.


Talk to Us!

We are here to help with areas that a family asks for support with. We can help find interesting ways to teach particular concepts and encourage peer-to-peer learning in areas that a child might be struggling with. Conversations amongst parents, and between parents and the facilitators brews exciting ideas help shape the Learning Space. Ideas are brought to the children during the morning meeting. Parents can bring ideas themselves to the meeting, or they can talk to or email the facilitators and they can feed them on the parent's behalf.


Learning Journals

Journals and portfolios are not only useful for reflexive development, but a great resource for parents to meet reporting requirements for home-education. We encourage children to bring these each day (or keep them at Alithia) to help showcase a learning-journey.


Online

Photos and videos are taken by the facilitators, volunteering parents and the children throughout the day and shared with the child's family through a private online journal such as Storypark. This software allows a two-way, ongoing conversation between the facilitator and parents, and fosters collaboration and connection. Again, this is an excellent resource for the NESA home-education reporting requirements.


Social Media & Newsletter

We believe that it takes a community to raise a child. Building  connection with the Alithia members and our online community of supporters takes place by sharing successes photos, videos and events via our newsletter and social media. This generates an exchange of ideas and energy between the children and the whole community to nourish and support their collaborative group projects and learning journey.

Talula Hughes_square_web copy

Talula Hughes

President
"It's important to me that I support my children to find their unique way of making sense of the world. I want to keep them engaged in their surroundings by allowing them to continually learn through movement and exploration."
Karen Caves_square_web copy

Karen Caves

Vice-President
"I love to observe my children's natural sense of wonder, experimentation, exploration and sense of achievement when they work something out for themselves."
Antje Firla_square_web

Antje Firla

Committee Member
"I run my own business and know about the importance of life skills rather than the skills that are mostly focused on in the common schooling system. I am determined to fully support Alithia's vision becoming reality for our community."

"I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

-Thomas Edison

About Us

Alithia Learning runs a range of child-led programs designed for 5 to 12 year-olds. The defining characteristics of our programs are positive communication and freedom to learn.

Join Us

You don't have to live on the Mid North Coast to get involved with Alithia. If you love what we're about, get involved!

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News and events are announced on our social platforms.