Our story goes back to 2011 when, in cooperation with the Hungarian Reformed Church of Fitzroy North, we started our religious lessons for children. Soon after the church together with a few families eager to practice and pass on the Hungarian culture and language, formed the Bocskai Hungarian School. In the same year our very first School Holiday Program, called Bocskai Tábor, was organized, and has kept its growing popularity ever since. In 2012 we started our kindergarten class, the following year our baby-mum group kicked off. In 2014 the Bocskai Hungarian School Children Library was set up, aiming to provide opportunities outside the classroom for using Hungarian. In 2016 a new and exciting chapter started for the school, when the Department of Education and Training granted our school accreditation. This means a more recognized education for the students, who can now attend our lessons as part of their path to take their 12-year exam (and earn extra points for their university application). We celebrated this event with our first themed, Annual School Fundraising Ball. 2017 was another big year for us. Due to the growing number of our students we added a new campus to the school at Bargoonga Nganjin North Fitzroy Library. In the same year we celebrated the First Confirmation of Bocskai students. Behind the scenes we are already working on our next project, which is adding a digital classroom to our existing classes.
Our mission is providing high quality language and culture education for students of all background by trained and experienced native Hungarian speaking teachers. We also strive to create a fun, friendly and caring environment for the children, teach them through engaging, age-appropriate activities and nurture their individual gifts and talents in a safe school community. We put high emphasis not only on our classroom teaching, but also on including educational and cultural activities, that can be enjoyed by the whole family, like organising our annual Christmas play or the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations. We share the values of Christianity. Besides the language and culture classes we include religious lessons for our students, who are welcome to attend these lessons regardless of their religion, faith or cultural ethnicity. We are part of the Bocskai Center Community, with whom we share mutual understanding and support.
Our management and teachers are currently working on adding a digital classroom, called Moodle, to our running school classes from 2019.
Are you wondering what is the right class for your child? Browse through our selection of classes from kindergarten to high school and find the perfect match! Learn more about our Mesemanók, Levelezőtársak, Kincskeresők, Kalandorok and Felfedezők classes and what are the students in these groups are up to. Or if you are a new parent find out all the details about our playgroup session, called Csemete.
Our Csemete (Nursery) playgroup is for little ones aged between 0-3 years. Bubs and mums meet every Tuesday between 10-12 am at the Bocskai Community Center, where the main hall is set up for free play with a variety of toys and books. During the sessions we sing some of our favourite nursery rhymes and songs. Playing with various instruments, colourful balls, our beloved parachute and soap bubbles just adds to the joy. An age appropriate crafting activity is also included in the session, such as paper tearing, rice or lentil sorting, painting with hands etc. Our playgroup gives an opportunity for the little ones to hear and practise Hungarian as well as lay down the foundation of long-term friendships with peers from the same cultural background. Once growing up the kids from Csemete group can continue exploring fun at the kindergarten class of Bocskai Hungarian School.
In our Mesemanók (Tiny Elves) group the kids get to know the very best Hungarian nursery rhymes, stories and make a lot of crafts, as well as learn important expressions and vocabulary. Learning through play is our motto in the kindergarten group of Bocskai Hungarian School. It is fundamental for the children who get to practice their social skills in Hungarian, as well as for the teacher who gets to do one-on-one activities with them. Every year we cover two larger topics such as ’animals’ or ’occupations’. The most important goal of this group is providing the kids with the opportunity of learning to pronounce and understand all of the Hungarian sounds very well. This way when they start at the Tadpoles group they can really focus on building their reading and writing skills.
Our Levelezőtársak (Penfriends) group is full of independent, fun-loving kids, who are ready to learn the basics of reading and writing in Hungarian. Although Grade 1 and Grade 2 students attend the same class and cover the same topics during the year, they follow a different path. While the first graders are introduced to the Hungarian alphabet and start learning to read in Hungarian (on the level of words and simple sentences), the second graders practice reading comprehension and writing of longer sentences and texts. During learning about various subjects (e.g.: numbers, colours, family, weather, body parts, customs etc.) our activities focus on all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). Since this age group learns most effectively through games, we play a lot too. Our aim at this group is providing the children with a solid language base, on which they can build their Hungarian skills further.
Back in the day tales used to be told to children to teach them about life in their own language. Similarly, in our Kincskeresők (Treasure Hunters) group our main theme is learning through Hungarian myths and tales. Stories, poems and drama activities add not only to the fun, but also to the depth of discovering the Hungarian culture and traditions. Students are also challenged to enrich their vocabulary for describing nature and science. The Kincskeresők group of Bocskai Hungarian School focuses on developing very strong reading comprehension and writing skills. Since in this group the children start reading short books we also encourage them to start using the Bocskai Hungarian School Children Library by themselves.
The Kalandorok (Adventurers) group is full of young teens, who have a solid knowledge of all the Hungarian letters (reading and writing) and are ready to get their language skills to the next level. During our adventures the kids learn about the Hungarian culture, its traditions, and become familiar with using Hungarian idioms and proverbs. We put particular emphasis on building stronger communication skills (situational games, group work activities), writing skills (various texts and compositions), as well as use of grammar and spelling. Treasure hunts and games form a crucial part of the learning process too. Our aim in this group is helping the children to build confidence in their language use so that they feel ready to continue their adventures in the Explorer group.
The Felfedezők (Explorers) group of Bocskai Hungarian School is for teens, who have a curious mind and are eager to discover the world around them. Following project-based learning, each year we concentrate on 3-5 larger topics. In preparation for the years 12 VCE Hungarian exam, the covered topics are inspired by the official exam curriculum of State Victoria. While working on these projects the four core language skills are improved (communication, listening, reading and writing), and we also draw attention to mastering the use of Hungarian grammar and spelling. As a closure for each project the students often do a presentation, a play or even publish the next issue of the school newspaper as a team project. Our aim in this group is improving Hungarian skills further, so the language becomes a real tool for exploring and understanding the world better.
Once a student completes Grade 10 in the Felfedezők group they are only one step away from passing the magyar nyelvi érettségi (VCE Hungarian exam). This step is a preparation course, which specifically provides learning material for the oral and written part of the years 12 Hungarian language exam, and which can be attended in two language schools in Melbourne. Preparing for and completing the VCE Hungarian exam do not only hold considerable language use benefits but also it can earn extra points in tertiary education applications.
We believe that quality learning can only be achieved by quality teaching. That is why we offer language and culture classes taught exclusively by native teachers who gained their qualifications and/or work experience in Hungary. This makes us the only community school in Melbourne where this standard of teaching is upheld. To learn more about our teachers and their story continue here.
School Committee (Board)
Our school board governs the strategic guidance of the Bocskai Hungarian School and its overall objectives. If you would like to know more about it continue here. The Bocskai Hungarian School acknowledges that it operates within its Constitution and the Department of Education and Training (DET)’s Community Language Schools Funding Program guidelines’. Within these regulations and guidelines, the school has resolved that it will operate with integrity and observe the following principles:
- The learning needs of the student will be the primary consideration in decision-making
- Loyalty to the school, its Charter, its Administration and Staff will be demonstrated
- Members of the Committee, Staff and Administration will be required to undertake training regarding their responsibilities to current school policies and practices and DET guidelines
- The views of the school community will be sought and considered on key issues
- Decisions of the school Committee will be available to the members of the School Association
- Encourage parents to become involved in the school’s programs, excursions, camps and other activities
- Use the skills and experiences within the community as a valuable resource
- The committee will meet at least once per term in addition to the Annual General Meeting
- Minutes of the meetings will be kept, and business will be conducted according to normal meeting procedures; and
- The Administrator will advise all members of the scheduled meeting, ensure that an agenda is prepared in advance of the meeting, minutes are taken, and decisions of the committee are implemented
When it comes to books our motto is „A child who reads will be an adult who thinks”. That is why building our library has been a true passion project for our teachers, volunteers and community. Our library collection has been set up from generous book donations from Bocskai families and friends, as well as through fundraising activities and charity programs.
Today the Bocskai Hungarian School Children Library is home to nearly 1000 children books. While browsing through the shelves you can find classic Hungarian children’s stories, as well as contemporary favourites.
Children from all ages are able to find books matching their level of reading competencies. To make the search easier we organised our collection into five reading categories from toddler to young adult. With the help our volunteer, Judith Bartalis, we are currently working on making the loaning process digital.
We also have a small collection of DVDs. We hope to expand our library collection further and would also like to include audio books too. Donations of Hungarian books, CD’s and DVD’s in good condition are welcome.