Alia College seeks to develop students who are reflective and creative thinkers, encouraged and supported by a team of educators who are passionate, good humoured, and collaborative – well, mostly they are. Students feel respected and connected with staff, and are more likely to be engaged in learning. At Alia College, there are no rules, but rather an understanding of personal and community safety; there are no bells, no uniforms, students are free to come and go as they wish, and teachers are addressed by their first names. Alia College is a school which is run on the premise of mutual respect, and students are listened to.
The school is built around values of tolerance, creativity, self-expression, respect, and responsibility. The problem of course is that every school can say that, and people are so used to hearing spin that nothing can be believed until it is observed.
Alia College is the dream child of Bob Morgan, an educator with over 40 years of teaching experience. Bob had a growing frustration with problems in the traditional schools in which he had always taught, and as his own children came to secondary school age he began to think about making a difference. He met up with like-minded educators and began gathering teachers and students around a vision of the school that is here today.
Bob found that giving students a real voice in school matters that affected them had a remarkable effect on their stress levels and their academic performance. Even most parents feel that allowing greater freedom of expression to students simply disadvantages the quieter and more sensitive students. However, we found that if the cultural settings are developed carefully from the start, then students naturally develop into co-operative and caring school members. Once students see that the other students are already happy, cheerful and co-operative they are able to relax their natural level of defensiveness and engage in study with interest and much greater productivity.
Alia College offers a varied curriculum aimed at success in Year 12. It goes beyond the requirements of the state and federal government curricula and includes Mathematics, Science, English, Philosophy, Humanities, Health, Drama, Media, Cooking, languages such as Latin, Japanese and French, PE, Art, Music, work experience, and outdoor education. Alia also offers many opportunities for individualised study.At Alia College, students can expect academic challenge (at their own level) in a variety of forms, including traditional instruction, projects, open-ended explorations, experimental learning and direct testing.Our excellent results come from the quality of education here. There is no entrance examination. Students are not expected to be high achievers in order to enrol here, however, scholarship entry is available to exceptional students.
Our approach strongly supports students who wish to be proactive in their own education and encourages students who have been discouraged. Being a small school, we can readily accommodate students’ differing learning styles and academic strengths. And because class sizes are small, students can be accommodated and listened to. Students have almost one to one tuition. We hire teachers who show love for their subjects and who are able to present their discipline without the support of a formal rigid punishment system. Students can expect teachers who relate to them as real people. When teachers enjoy their subjects, enthusiasm is contagious. We believe in knowing our students well so that they can achieve their best.