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History and Philosophy

Our History

Aitken College opened in Term 1 of 1999, and has remained steadfast in maintaining its historic and agricultural links.

The College name Aitken has links to John Aitken, who immigrated to Van Diemans Land from Scotland in about 1825.

He sailed across the Tasman to the Port Phillip district  in 1836, bringing his sheep across to graze on pasture land in the outer limits of the area north of Melbourne. Up until the purchase of the College property from the Gambles in late 1998, the property was still a working farm.

The School names: Fairview, Cumberland, Dunhelen, Brookhill and Glenarthur (no longer in use), refer to property names associated with the local area and were so named by the settlers and land owners of the time. Fairview was a farm property owned by J. Bond (and possibly bought from John Aitken). The Cumberland estate is located near Woodlands Park. The ruins of the original homestead and some remnants of the original garden are still on the site. The Dunhelen property was built at some time after 1850.

The bluestone barn still exits on the site. The Glen Arthur property was owned by Joseph and Celia Trotman; and Robert Shankland who arrived in Australia in 1841 owned the property named Waltham, his son William owned the Brookhill property opposite. The House names: Brodie, Cameron, Clarke and Millar, are derived from the family names of early pioneer settlers and prominent locals. The Brodies, Camerons, Millars and Clarkes have a long association with the area.  The Brodie brothers bought land in the area around Mickleham to service their sheep around the 1840s. The Clarkes also bought land in the area and took over land owned by the Brodie brothers and John Aitken. The Millar family had a local involvement in the area from around the late 1860s. Donald Cameron purchased the land known as Ruthvenfield in 1848, to be later renamed by its new owner, Thomas Brunton, in the 1890s as Roxburgh Park. The historical links that we have maintained is a tribute to the vision of the pioneers who colonised this area.

Our Philosophy

At Aitken College, our vision is to provide an environment in which students are able to achieve their potential; to expand their skills and intellect, to develop self-esteem and confidence, and to become vital and compassionate members of the wider community.

Aitken College has a sound educational philosophy which ensures we provide a range of challenging and relevant learning experiences for each student, consistent with a commitment to a comprehensive curriculum and the full development of each student.

The programs of, and teaching in, Aitken College support and promote the principles and practices of Australian democracy including a commitment to: elected government, the right of law, equal rights for all before the law, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and association and values of openness and acceptance.

Aitken College is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This will be the primary focus of our care and decision-making with zero tolerance for child abuse.

We are committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives.

Particular attention will be paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability.

Every person involved in the College has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.

Continuity in the educational growth of students from Foundation to Year 12 ensures that new learning builds on an appropriate foundation of prior learning and experiences. Because learning occurs in many different ways, a variety of learning and teaching approaches are being used at all levels, within a caring and well-coordinated school environment which encourages effort and rewards achievement. Students are encouraged to be actively involved in their learning as they ask questions and seek answers, help to shape activities and programs at all levels, and participate in hands-on activities.

The College encourages all students to extend their range of learning experiences through the provision of appropriate extension material and open-ended activities. Students are encouraged to achieve at their highest possible level and to move beyond the constraints imposed by the year level structure.

Our program helps each student to develop self-esteem and feelings of self-worth, and to practice leadership skills.

Consideration for the needs of others, and a respect for the environment, is encouraged at both a local and global level. Above all, we commend to our students the values which arise from the Gospel and the traditions of the Christian Church – values such as respect for oneself and others, a reverence for life, the development of personal honesty, integrity and self-discipline, acceptance and kindness.