Published articles about Pine


Business boom in the classroom

North West News, 25 September, 2002

The budding entrepreneurs at Pine Community School, Arana Hills, have set up their own booming business community.

The pupils at the small, independent school are running their own businesses in a project called Our Town.

Teacher Cathy Wilton said Our Town had a variety of small businesses ranging from food shops and entertainment venues to pampering hair and beauty salons.

“Our Town is part of the learning program at Pine Community School where students set up their own small businesses and run the school as a microcosm of society for a week,” Ms Wilton said. “We have a council who provide services such as policing and garbage disposal and we celebrate our town with community events.

“Students discuss the businesses and services required to make a town successful. They device policies and laws and debate whose image shall appear on the specially designed currency.”

Ms Wilton said the pupils enjoyed the role-playing, which gave them a chance to develop and use skills that were part of the key learning areas in primary school.

Pine Community School at the theatre

August 2000

The theatrical production prepared for Pine Community School’s annual theatre restaurant was this year, a marvellous spectacle of fantasy characters, sets and costumes set within the mythical land of ‘Cloakwood’ – a Tolkien style world created entirely by the students of Pine.

The audience were treated to yet another inspirational production from Pine students and teachers, with such characters as the Bone Collectors, the Peace Dragon, soldiers and wizards from the Fairydust Kingdom, Queen Mab and roman style guards, many battling to overthrow others with devious plots and some attempting to negotiate peace within this land of adventure and turmoil. All this whilst the audience enjoyed a delicious buffet dinner!

Always a much-anticipated event, the annual theatre restaurant combines the imagination and talents of every member of Pine Community School. The environment and philosophies of the school encourage the children’s imagination and sense of community, bringing together an atmosphere of cooperation rarely seen in children of such varying ages.

Other upcoming events for the school community include Ancient Rome Day, Totally Wild Revegetation Day and a family Camp at Noosa.

Pine Community School Welcomes New Teacher

July 2000

"I believe education is a life long process and I hope to continue to empower the students of Pine Community School in becoming autonomous, independent learners". - Cathy Wilton, Pine Community School

We are proud to welcome the newest addition to our community and one we feel will be an enormous asset to us all.

New teacher Cathy Wilton first visited our school last year with her young son, with a vision of enrolling him at Pine for when he was old enough to attend.

After the sad loss of Natasha to another life overseas, we again encountered Cathy, this time in the role of teacher, during the extensive interviews that took place over the school holidays. It was unanimously decided (an unusual event) that Cathy’s vast 13 year experience in teaching, 8 being in alternative education, plus a string of qualifications, made her the ideal choice for this pivotal teaching position.

Her instant rapport with the community and its philosophies plus the obvious benefits such experience could bring to the school has facilitated very smooth transition for the children and staff.

Welcome Cathy!

Pine Community is an independent, multi-aged, primary school providing a complete 7 – 8 year education program aiming to promote the child as an individual within a caring, supportive community atmosphere. Inquiries are welcome.

Grandparents go back to school

June 2000

Older family and friends of Pine Community School were invited to a gathering on May 26th to celebrate and share food, companionship and stories from the past with their young counterparts at the school.

They were greeted by beautifully decorated tables in patriotic colours of yellow and green, hot cups of tea and coffee, homemade cakes and scones with cream and jam, and a smiling welcome from the dedicated teachers.

The children sang songs, one told jokes and some (little girls) danced as if floating on air. Then it was the turn of the grandparents, replete with the cakes made that morning. Stories of the past, of wars, of an Irish childhood; the children listening quietly and encouragingly, passing from hand to careful hand the momentos kept lovingly for sixty and more years, many from other countries: photos, autograph books, medals, a tiny teddy bear modelling a wartime ‘siren suit’, even a chunk of peat from Ireland.

The grandparents ranged in age from 65 to probably nearly 90 years, while the children ranged from 3 – 13 (including younger siblings giving silent encouragement during the songs.) But you could feel the special bond between the two generations; you could sense the pride the children felt as they listened to the experiences of their elderly relatives who loved their grandchildren and were loved by them; and who had once been as young themselves. You could see on their faces the thought, “Will I ever be that old?”

Pine Community School is an independent, non-competitive, multi-aged learning environment for primary school children. All inquiries are welcome.

Geoff and the Tamarind Tree

May 2000

A tree planting ceremony was recently held at Pine Community School thanks to the generosity of Geoff Wilson, state member for Ferny Grove and patron of Friends of Pine.

Earlier this year, Geoff, who has had a long association with Pine, offered to fully subsidise a scholastic or sporting award for the small community school. However, due to the non-competitive nature of Pine and its commitment to all students as achievers, the school suggested that a tree be donated for the ‘edible learn-scape’ gardening project that the students had been preparing.

A tamarind tree was selected and a thoroughly enjoyable morning was spent in the company of Geoff by parents, teachers and pupils which included much conversation, a short speech and morning tea baked by the children.

Members of Friends of Pine, an organisation set up to support and encourage the continuing friendship and involvement of past, present and non-school members, assisted Geoff with the planting and from all reports the tree is doing just fine.

Pine Community’s Education Conference Explores Vital Questions

Hills Echo, April, 2000

As a small, independent, multi-aged primary school, Pine Community School is following the ongoing educational debate with much interest. The school is preparing an educational conference in order to discuss and assess its methods and philosophies on learning and development in primary aged children.

Over the past 17 years Pine has regularly explored the philosophies practiced at the school at such meetings and closely monitors the success that its graduates have achieved in their tertiary education and beyond. Among the topics to be discussed are:

* Children must feel secure and happy in their environment in order to be receptive and stimulated to learn.

A small, multi-aged, mixed environment promotes an awareness of the individuals value as a member of the community. This creates a feeling of security, trust, affection and co-operation within the school. Children benefit from helping others more in need and in turn are helped by others – both valuable experiences educationally and emotionally.

* Children are individuals and must be regarded as such.

The aim of educators, both teachers and parents is to help the child towards a state of self-sufficiency and independent thinking, where the mind is stimulated to be receptive to new concepts and environments and that this condition remain with the child throughout their entire life.

* Segregation by age, sex, ability or otherwise has been observed to create a damaging sense of isolation between and within the groups.

Children cannot feel a part of a whole learning and sharing process.

* The school will operate within a non-competitive environment.

Students had come to Pine from other institutions with a sense of humiliation and failure at their apparent inability at being able to meet the expectations of the system. At Pine ‘errors’ are regarded simply as opportunities for further learning, competition is eliminated and children are allowed to develop their own self expectations and self sufficiency, therefore creating personal responsibility and independent thinking within a warm, supportive and stimulating environment.

* Freedom of creativity is essential for the natural development of the inquisitive mind.

Children enjoy learning within an environment that is non-competitive, non-segregated, free of fear of expectations and peer pressure, free of the concept of failure. Children educated within this atmosphere become well equipped to deal with these issues later in life due to their high level of self esteem, confidence and greater ability to think as an individual.


Courier Mail, 9 September 1999

The thirty or so families that make up the enthusiastic community of Pine Community School, have once again survived a thoroughly enjoyable annual school camp held at Mapleton on the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast.

Unlike most traditional school camps, at Pine Community the rest of the family goes too, and whilst parents can be seen enjoying a game of volleyball or just lazing with a book, their children are excitedly dashing from one activity to another, only to find that the weekend seems to have finished almost before it began. The Family School Camp is just one of the many ways in which Pine brings the school community together.

The annual sleepover, which takes place on the school grounds features games and midnight snacks (generally held much earlier) and is always a much anticipated event in the school year. Children at Pine genuinely love their school – they have so much fun, even the lessons are enjoyed as children are working at their own pace and find interest and challenges in everything they do. These children have not learnt that education is dull.

Hooray, We’re Going Back To School!!

Hills Echo, February 2000

Not the usual cry heard from children at this time of year, unless of course you’re a Pine Community School parent.

Eager, excited children, large and small sat in ‘morning circle’ with their parents and teachers on their first day back at school. Each individual, as is the custom at Pine, was given the opportunity to share their experiences with the rest of the group, proudly produce a favourite Christmas gift or just listen to others that had exciting news to report.

This month was especially brimming with family activities, even by Pine standards.

A get together was organised on Saturday 5th for the benefit of new families who have recently joined the school. The family camp at Mapleton (always a fabulous weekend of fun for the entire school community) was held from the 11th February.

On Saturday 26th the school organised a tea/coffee/muffin and information stall at the popular Pine Hills Fair. This was huge success and many new friends were made. All this in addition to various excursions and regular curricular and extra-curricular activities have made this a month to be remembered for some time.

Also coming up on April 1st is the much-anticipated Monster Trivia Night, which promises to be a fantastic evening with prizes and thrills for all. Venue is the Hills Community Centre at 6.30 for 7pm start. Tickets are $10, which includes supper and unlimited fun. Soft drinks, beer and wine are available and tickets can be purchased on 3851 1496.


Leave a Reply