Vision, Mission & Values
Dara School is an accommodating and specialised environment designed to meet social and emotional needs of children and teenagers who are gifted. The school ensures gifted children have a safe, fun and challenging environment, where they can learn and grow. We achieve this through a student-centred approach.
To enable each individual to choose their adventure of learning, capture moments of wonder and delight, embrace opportunities to make a difference, and shape who they can become.
Dara provides a unique learning environment designed to meet the individual educational and emotional needs of gifted students. Drawing on our collective expertise within the field of gifted education, our approach is underpinned by mutually respectful teacher-student relationships and dynamic flexible practises based on learner profiles.
Dara promotes community understanding and awareness of gifted learners and shares our experience for the benefit of gifted students, parents of gifted students and educators across Australia.
Courage is a lifelong value for Dara learners. Gifted people are in particular need of courage because giftedness is a lived experience of difference. We value the courage to challenge yourself at your own level. We value the courage to reach for new learning and new skills. We value the courage to make mistakes and fail without giving up. We value the courage to be your own person. We value the courage to be compassionate, honest and reliable, have integrity and exert effort.
“Compassion is the basis of morality,” (Schopenhauer, 1840), or, as Anne Frank said, “no one has ever become poor by giving.”
Dara considers the active development of a child’s compassion an ethical responsibility of the school. Without compassion, we live a poor facsimile of life. In valuing compassion, we value a supportive environment which promotes wellbeing through empathy, understanding, respect and joy.
Connection is integral to our sense of self and community. Connection to self supports metacognition and self-directed personal growth. When a learner is connected to peers and adults, they are socially and emotionally supported. On a wider scale, connection to community helps us establish our sense of place and develop our own sense of identity as a member of that place. We value our community and celebrating our collective experiences and successes. We value collaboration and the sharing of ideas and feedback.
Dara values curiosity because a love of learning creates a sense of joy, fulfilment and self-efficacy that will be of lifelong value. We value the courage to be curious and independent in curiosity, take risks, try new ideas and challenge learning, supported by quality learning experiences. Learning should not be a chore but a pleasure.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” (Attributed to Einstein).
Creativity is recognised as the most challenging level of cognitive processing. A learner who can be creative is a learner who can solve problems and delight in the process. We value daring to be different through implementing creative, adaptive, reflexive approaches to learning.