when choosing the school

which helps you mould the character of your child !
Happiness for our children …. needs to be taught - not bought.

As expressed by Aristotle and many others since his day, "Happiness depends upon ourselves". It is not something that can be created anywhere else - other than in the mind. As Dale Carnegie said, "Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude".

Given that children spend most of their formative years at school, it is important that parents choose a school which will teach children more than academics. The development of the character of the child is inseparable from the academic or any of the other intelligences.

"We start our programme to develop character by teaching students how to show gratitude",

says Rūta, and from here we help them understand and adopt values which build on their strengths.

Stephen is an Australian educator with 35 years of experience in designing, building and leading private schools and Rūta is a Lithuanian psychologist with 20 years experience in psychoanalytic approaches to individual and organisational development. Together they have established a unique new school in Vilnius which is applying modern pedagogical approaches with positive psychology and Tavistockian* group work approaches to teaching and learning.

*The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations UK is a sponsor of the school. Both Stephen and Rūta are graduates of the Institute and are breaking new ground with their initiative to apply groups relations theory to the practice to schooling.

Happy children is an important goal for schools as we know from research that children learn better when they are happy. But its far more important than being a part of the academic formulae. It is also a powerful element in the learning context for student attitude towards learning in general. We focus our programme in elementary school on the three building blocks of:


Strong skills in Lithuanian and then English are taught in a bilingual context.

Students are taught in groups utilising peer learning and applying Mathematics to the real world
Love of Learning

Children who love learning in elementary school are set to be successful students for the rest of their life
If the children are happy to come to school and learn we have established a learning context which will sustain their motivation into adulthood. We are not focused on the grades students might get in the next test - but on teaching the student how to learn, and in particular "how" they learn.

"We want them not to be dependent upon the teacher but to become self-directed learners." explains Stephen.

The teaching and learning context is very influential on the students' overall experience of schooling and also on learning and developmental outcomes. The most significant factors in the context of learning are teachers, space and of course the other students who make up the groups in which the student works.

At Guliverio Akademijia we manage these elements to create a positive learning environment where open and flexible spaces support the goal of the students becoming self-directed learners. For example, we have no bells and the daily time table is flexible and negotiable between teachers and students. Our teachers are trained to be facilitators of not only learning, but the development of the child. The teacher does not dominate the learning process but acts as a coach or mentor.

"Children are born with creativity and a love of learning – its our role to feed these natural desires and not to suppress them", says Rūta.

One of the main differences between our approach and traditional Lithuanian school teaching, is that we teach in groups. Our students are not sitting as individuals in rows behind desks. We teach groups and we teach through groups. Students learn from the teacher and from each other. Collaboration between teachers, between students, and between teachers and students creates a dynamic learning environment where students make faster progress with stronger learning outcomes.

"Learning in groups is also more interactive, engaging and fun" says Stephen. "The day goes quickly because the students are not bored or wasting time waiting for the individual attentions of the teacher."

Stephen and Rūta's research based pedagogical style has been recognised with the granting of two European Funded projects teaching modern approaches to teaching maths. Stephen and Rūta are teaching 60 teachers from 12 schools throughout Lithuania. They are helping teachers to adopt group teaching and peer learning techniques. Stephen is also a regular keynote speaker at Education Conferences around Lithuania on the topic of technology and it role in the classroom. Stephen and Rūta are committed to helping develop the education system in Lithuania and they started their school Guliverio Akademija to be a place where teachers could come and learn along with the students.

"There is a crisis about the impact the entire schooling system as older teachers retire and there are not enough new teachers to replace them", says Stephen.

With a shortage of teachers, standards will drop and some classes will simply not have a teacher qualified to instruct them. We have decided to offer traineeships to people with a first degree to learn how to teach in the classroom and then to complete the university course to obtain their qualification. We are planning to start with two or more trainees this September.

Parents often ask me how they should choose a school for their children. I tell them what I have learnt working in this industry all my life and from being a parent myself. The quality of the educational experience of the children is not indicated by the price, programme or buildings. The quality of the schooling experience is indicated by the experience of the Principal. Our two principals are both teaching daily in the classroom to ensure that all the students are receiving a quality education. We follow the latest research from around the world in order to continually improve our practice.

Parents also ask me which years are the most important to ensure that the education is good. Many people think the last two years of 11 and 12 are the most important but Elementary school is where the foundation of education is laid. It is important that the education experience in elementary school is positive and sets the positive attitude for children for the many years at school to come. Having children happy to go to elementary school and excited about learning is a significant and critical achievement of the parents and teachers working together. Laying a strong foundation in Literacy (Lithuanian language and the basics of English) and Mathematics is also very important as these subjects are the building blocks of all the academic programmes in secondary school.

Many people think that private schools are only for rich people. Our fees for tuition are 98 euros a school week. This is a significant investment in lifelong benefits for your children.

"A quality education is a gift that lasts a lifetime".

Our Australian Principal, Stephen Lee, has been teaching, leading and building effective schools since 1984. He grew his career from experience in some of the best private schools in Australia.

After 12 years as Teacher and deputy Principal, Stephen designed and opened his own school Great Southern Grammar, in 1999 and it has become one of the leading boarding schools in Western Australia. His second school as Principal was the elite private girls school – "Methodist Ladies College" in Perth. In his last role before moving to Lithuania, Stephen was the "Executive Principal" and CEO of seven schools in one system. While working in Australia – Stephen designed and opened a total of three new schools and served as "Chairman of the Board" of a fourth.

Stephen has always been a learner himself. He is a Member of the Australian College of Education and the West Australian College of Teachers. He has qualifications as a teacher, a family counsellor and a Company Director. He has a Masters Degree in Education Administration from the prestigious

University of New South Wales. Most recently has graduated from the Tavistock Institute in London UK - as a Consultant in Change.

Since moving to live in Lithuania, Stephen has worked as a consultant in the company Visuomenes Raidos Centras. In 2017 Rūta and Stephen founded Guliverio Akademija which will offer
grades 1 through to 4 this year and grow progressively to Year 12 in the future.

Guliverio Akademija is not an alternative school, and experimental school or a business venture – it is a learning organisation based on Stephen's experience gained from 13 schools over 34 years of practice.

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