School Overview

Vision

Our vision is to create a school model that achieves educational equity for all students.

Mission

We will achieve our vision by creating an evidence-based school model that achieves educational equity for all students through a community-minded and progressive approach to learning.

The core components of our mission include:

  1. Promote social justice
    Combat the effects of disadvantage through a holistic and relational approach to student development
  2. Let experience drive learning
    Empower the community to provide our young people with authentic experiences that ground their learning, thereby connecting our young people to global and local communities of action
  3. Evaluate to innovate
    Use ongoing evidence, reflection and evaluation to drive innovation and risk taking
  4. Plan and act for perpetuity
    Create a sustainable and universal model of secondary school education

Rationale

Current models of later years education overwhelmingly continue to deliver an educational model which follows the aims and culture of the Industrial Revolution (Robinson, 2010). Schools – both independent and government – delivering innovative educational programs and designing new paradigms through which to learn are mostly accessed by families with high social and economic capital (Lareau, 2011). A number of schools are providing alternative learning spaces for disengaged and vulnerable young people for whom the mainstream system is not, for whatever reason, an appropriate learning space. While many of these schools have achieved significant progress towards a more progressive system, they fail to fundamentally challenge that system, and do not adequately address the social and economic realities these families deal with. A model that undermines the status-quo and negates the effects of social and economic inequity is called for. To achieve this, we need to remind ourselves of an old truth, it takes a village to raise a child.

School Overview

This school will be a co-ed secondary school with large nature-based and experiential learning components with a central CBD campus. The school will be governed by a board of directors.

Values

These are things that are critical to achieving our vision and mission.

  1. The majority (>50%) of our students experience socio-economic disadvantage and will not pay school fees
  2. Our students will not be grouped by their ability or age
  3. Students must choose to come to this school, and in doing so make a commitment to our values 100%. Once they do this we make a commitment to see them through to completion and not expel them. We will make every effort to refer all applicants in the case that we cannot accept students.
  4. There will be a nature-based and adventure therapy component.
  5. Student representatives must be involved at all levels of governance.

Students

We anticipate beginning with a small number of students and ensuring the model is a sustainable and successful one before expanding. In our first year we will keep it to less than 30 students. With a view to expanding to up to 200. Feasibility analysis will be done when making these decisions. We wish to remain a small school which if successful could open other campuses, however the importance of students knowing one another in a therapeutic community environment necessitates a small cohort. We also intend to start with middle years (7-10) and if successful would consider expanding to offer year 11 and 12 pathways. We are in discussion with like-minded schools and NGOs about student referrals.