Running the School
At Richmond Vale Academy we all run the school together. Managing and organizing our community is an integral part of the program. All participants and teachers share life at the campus and together everyone is part of developing our community and our sustainability. Living together 24/7 with many people from around the world takes a lot of discussions and organizational skills.
Running the School Together
At the school we are organized in different groups that work with different areas of responsibility. We call them Responsibility Areas. The participants choose a responsibility area to work with and take leadership of that area for organizing the community in the most efficient way.
Each group works to the best of its ability to improve systems, productivity and introduces all new arriving participants into the daily tasks and areas that need to be maintained. We organize and work together to prepare meals, work in the garden, keep our school and create a vibrant cultural life at the school. The responsibility areas are a necessary part of the learning process, learning collective living and learning how to organize and mobilize people to take action.
The Responsibility groups are currently organized under these headlines:
Garden Farming: This group takes responsibility of the organic vegetable garden and the development of the forest garden. The participants in this group organize the common garden actions, integrating new participants into the garden tasks, develop systems for efficient and sufficient vegetable production, development of the garden.
Food & Kitchen: The Food Group is responsible for organizing everything around the meals and the kitchen. This group takes responsibility to organize the community around the daily kitchen tasks, takes charge of the food menu, organizes the weekly food shopping, organizes the school’s food production (bread, cheese, jam, yoghurt, etc.), assures the kitchen hygiene standards and sets out for new developments in food and kitchen.
Buildings & Energy: This Group takes responsibility for everything that is related to the buildings and the use of resources. This group organizes the community to keep the buildings clean and in good standard, carries our maintenance tasks, prepares rooms for new participants, assures the soap production and organizes small and big actions to improve or maintain everything inside the buildings. This Group also keeps an eye on the use of water and electricity and develops new ways to reduce our ecological footprint.
Culture & Sports: The Culture and Sports group is responsible for keeping a good atmosphere in the community. This group organizes common evening programs and cultural evenings at the school or in the nearby communities. The group is responsible for finding ways to bring the community together and integrate new people into the community. The group is also responsible for organizing common sports activities and takes charge to keep sports equipment and the gym up to a high standard.
Agitation: The Agitation group works with spreading the word about the academy and about the big issues that we are working with. The group is responsible for the online presence of the school; website, blogs and social media. The group develops new ways of recruiting new participants, an essential activity to develop our work in St. Vincent, Belize and Ecuador.
The Common Meeting Governs the School
Common meetings are used for discussing and working out the detailed contents of the program elements and the particular methods with which to get the most out of the topics and actions. This secures that the program is continually realized and brought further within and among the students, and also serves to assist and bring along those of the students or groups who need good advice or comments to their work.
The school’s Common Meeting unites everyone, with the headmaster in the lead and with all teachers and students participating. The meeting treats many issues of the school and is part of planning the process, courses and results of the learning and teaching, as well as the daily life of the school and the immediate future to look forward to.
Meeting points also comprise the different lines of necessary and instructive practical work to be done, so everything functions to standard. Such tasks must be performed to a high level of quality, so the vivid training at school is supplemented by attaining a thorough level of quality in the everyday life while moving through the program.