Brief History & School Profile
The Buddhist Studies School (Daham Pasala) was established under the patronage of its present management in June 1993. Having started as a school of religion, Sinhala Language was introduced to its curriculum as a subsidiary subject in 1997. In 1999, the Sinhala Language section joined the LOTE (Languages other than English) program conducted by the DET (Department of Education and Training) to impart Sinhala Language as a part of 2nd language learning. The Sinhala Language School is now defmed as an ethnic school and is funded by DET. In 2000, the school obtained accreditation from DET.
The school started with a student population of 26 and 3 teachers. At the start of 2002, the school recorded a student population of 193, with 8 teachers and 1 relief teacher. The average class size was approximately xx students. Presently (early 2016), the student population exceeds 300, with a teaching staff of xx and x relief teachers and the average class size remains the same.
Dhamma Section is in session on Sundays, 4 terms of the year and coincides with Victorian school sessions. Please refer to the timetable of the Sunday School.
Dhamma Section starts with a general assembly at 1.30 PM The 1st session from 1.30 p.m. to 3.00 PM is allocated for Buddhist Studies. This is followed by a 15-minute break from 3.00 p.m. to 3.15 PM. The students who attend only Dhamma Sections are dismissed at 3:15 PM.
The 2nd session from 3.30 p.m. to 5.45 p.m. is allocated for the Sinhala Language. Students who attend both sections are dismissed at this time.
The school provides a comprehensive curriculum in key areas of the CSF 11 (Curriculum and Standards Framework 11) pertaining to Buddhist Studies and Sinhala Language. Course outlines in the 2 subjects are designed in relevance to Victorian educational requirements. Teachers go through professional training at the departmental level and school level.
Programs involving cultural and religious events are followed by specially- focused activities such as choir-singing, public-speaking, annual retreats and participating in Buddhist festivals by the students.
The school provides information and consultancy to parents and students and professional development for teachers.
Great emphasis is placed on good discipline, punctuality, regularity and respect. In order that students’ quality of life is enhanced, mental cleansing and training are taught and encouraged.
The school believes that all students can learn and experience success. For students to reach their individual potential, end-of-term testing and reporting are conducted as achievement indicator monitors.
The school values the geographical and migratory diversity of its students, their ability to learn good things of life from the Buddha’s life and teachings and the opportunity they receive to learn their native language in order that they become bilingual in communication.
The school expects that students and parents will continue to contribute to and support its on-going life and development.
A review shows us that the school has progressed immensely during the past 20 years. Its clientele numbers have increased, teachers receive professional training and the Sinhala Language has become a part of the curriculum. This status has been achieved through the cooperation of parents, teachers, students and the wider community.