Through following the Guiding Principles below young people are encouraged to grow and develop physically, mentally emotionally and spiritually.
Self Directed Learning
It is up to the child to decide what they learn and how they learn it. The adults are there to facilitate the children’s learning and to make sure the centre runs smoothly.
Circle/Consent based governance
When making important decisions for the centre every centre member will get their say. In the circle process each member is given the opportunity to voice their opinion about a specific issue once everyone either agrees or gives consent to a proposal then it will be implemented. However, if someone is opposed to the idea then it will be discussed and refined further until the individual either give consent or agrees to the proposal.
This method will also be used for conflict resolution and when holding centre members accountable for making the wrong choices. See Positive Connection based discipline below.
With this process the governance of the centre can be refined and improved and everyone can learn essential life skills from the process
For further information about how this process works see video below.
The centre is passionate about making sure every one’s rights are respected. In the UN convention of the Right’s of the Child includes:
- Children have the right to express their opinions and to have those opinions heard and acted upon when appropriate.
- Education shall help children use and develop their talents and abilities. It shall also help them to learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.
- Children have the right to be protected from any type of harm.
- Children have right to find out things and share what they think with others, by talking, drawing, writing or in any other way unless it harms or offends other people.
For more information about the UN Convention on Children’s Right, click on poster
Positive Connection based discipline
At the basis of the Centre’s discipline policy is that centre members need to keep the following things safe:
- Their peers
- The environment
- The resources
Specific rules will be decided by everyone in the centre and due to the democratic/sociocratic nature of the centre they can be added to and modified at any time. They will evolve with the centre community.
Children behave better when they are in a positive environment and feel connected. They are also able to think and learn better when they feel connected. Even though the Centre will provide a positive, caring environment, there will still be occasions when members may become disconnected and make the wrong choices.
When this happens an appropriate adult or a trusted peer will do their best calm the member and when they are ready a circle will be created to discuss the incident. This will enable the child to become accountable for his/her action/s and will enable any affected children to discuss what happened calmly, with each participant taking their turn to talk whilst everyone else listens.
Once this has happened then they will come to a consensus of how to move forward from the incident and what to do in the future to prevent a similar incident. This may include the member apologising and/or making recompense their action/s.
If the incident breaks the Individual Development Agreement then parents/carers will be informed and in the worst case the child will be excluded from the centre.