The African proverb says “It takes a village to raise a child.” At Santa Maria College, our vision of One Community, Three Villages embodies our commitment to name and know each student so that she can learn. Our Villages are framed within the contemporary learning and teaching model of the International Baccalaureate: Middle Years Program. The aim of our Three Villages model, Year 7 and 8, Year 9 and 10, Year 11 and 12, is to know each student and her story – know how she learns, what helps her flourish as a person and learner and how we as a College work in partnership with our families.
Led by three Village Leaders (Faith, Learning and Wellbeing), these Leaders work with the students for two years in collaboration with the Leaders of Learning and teachers from each faculty. Together the staff become the guardians of each student with the intention to journey with each student over 6 years of secondary education. This holistic approach to nurturing each child occurs within our dynamic 21st century world, and within a Catholic community that actively embraces and promotes scriptural values of compassion, forgiveness, peace and hope.
In 2019, the College will open the Year 7 and 8 Village Learning Centre to symbolise in bricks and mortar, the Village concept. Designed by Law Architects, the new Learning Centre has been developed to further enhance connection and belonging within the student community so that confidence, growth and success in learning becomes embedded and a natural part of the experience.
The design includes a new two-level Year 7 and Year 8 Centre by rethinking and extending an existing building. The Village Learning centre opens up to create larger spaces for collaborative learning and student inquiry. Each level includes an amphitheatre and breakout spaces to promote teamwork, collaboration and enhance social engagement. Natural light will wash through the Centre with expansive windows, internal glass and skylight. A central staircase offers physical and symbolic connection between the levels and again reinforces a Village concept of learning.
The Village’s curved front facade is fully glazed with an eye catching decorative metal screen in sage green, blue and copper tones to control light and offer a street appeal of creativity, colour and movement. The strength, grace and openness of the building design reflects the core of what Girls education is at Santa Maria. One of rigour, one of confidence, one of inquiry, one of connection and one of contemplation and compassion.