About Us

School Background

The Daugava School is a Latvian language community school for children from pre-school to Year 8. It is a branch of the Melbourne Latvian Society Inc.

The school was established in 1950 by Latvian refugees who arrived in Melbourne from Europe after the Second World War, when the continuing occupation by the Soviet Union made return to Latvia unrealistic. The school occupies two adjacent premises in Elwood overseen by the Melbourne Latvian Cooperative Society. Latvian House was developed by the whole Latvian community and the school building was purchased with funds raised by the primary and secondary school communities. The school is managed and staffed by volunteers.

The school is an integral part of the local Latvian community. The school calendar includes celebrations of cultural and historical significance, which are open to the whole community. School students are often invited to perform at functions organised by other Latvian community groups. Through these public events the school is a visible, active part of the local Latvian community.
The Daugava School enjoys a close relationship with the Melbourne Latvian Secondary School, with which it shares the premises. Both schools cooperatively organise annual functions and many graduates of the junior school go on to attend the senior school.

There have always been variations in the language ability of students. In recent years the gap in language proficiency of students has widened due largely to Latvian not being the primary language spoken in an increasing number of households.This trend has been partly offset by the enrolment of students from recent Latvian emigré families, where Latvian is the dominant household language. The school recognises that the school activities and curriculum must be tailored to this greater variability in Latvian language proficiency.

The school has links with a global network of Latvian schools and has access to educational resources and professional development opportunities that are offered to schools by both the Latvian government and the World Federation of Free Latvians.
While embracing the need to plan for the future, we cherish and wish to retain those things that have made the Daugava School unique for the past 60+ years.

Statement of Purpose

The main purpose of the school is to provide educational opportunities for children so that they may:

  • develop or improve their written and oral Latvian language proficiency
  • learn about their Latvian heritage including Latvian history, geography, culture and folklore
  • develop their sense of Latvian identity and belonging in a global Latvian community and a sense of pride and love for Latvian language and culture.

Values

The Daugava School values:

  • a positive, challenging, engaging, relevant, contemporary and stimulating learning environment
  • student engagement in learning
  • the recognition of both effort and achievement
  • the provision of a safe, secure and caring environment
  • family involvement in school life
  • openness, acceptance and inclusiveness
  • commitment to the school community
  • strong links with the wider Latvian community.