Village thinks of its small student population as an extended family and this flows through to the parents who enjoy being part of a small like-minded community. In normal times (sans Covid!) children and parents gather to talk and play after school, arranging play dates and sharing child minding or lifts to and from school.
The small school has a direct effect on the behaviour and the learning of each child. They are part of a community where everybody knows their name. When they take some of their class work to share at the whole school meeting, the Year 6 chairperson will address them as an individual, people will comment on or ask questions about their work and they will be given the space to explain how they made their model, or to read part of their story. With a small school there’s time to hear from everybody.
A small school needs less school rules as many rules are born out of the need to manage large groups of people. The children are often the instigators of the rules, particularly as they relate to cubby building, and the Year 6 group keep the Cubby Rules Law Book and refer to or amend it as needs be at whole school meetings.
Are all your friends the same age as you? In a small school you see much more vertical play across the grade levels. The big friend/little friend program also means you might spot a Year 6 boy playing in the sandpit with his little friend, or helping him transport a bucket of water to the mud pit. And then there’s the cry that sometimes arises out of nowhere: “Whole School Tiggy! Whole School Tiggy” and suddenly there is a rush to the meeting place to discover who is it and the game begins. Sometimes it’s Capture the Flag, or else it’s a game of soccer, but it’s always the same, everyone is invited to join in.