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High School

Our mission is to to build a progressive, forward-thinking high school in Murwillumbah that provides students with a rich and rigorous education.

The Small School has been expanding since 2019 and we are now offering secondary education through to Year 8. The remaining years of high school will be added in consecutive years from 2023.

The Small School is providing an evidence-based, dynamic learning environment, committed to best practice in progressive education  to suit our rapidly evolving world. Our learning environment:

  • Is participatory, empowering and highly supportive of students’ wellbeing

  • Engages students authentically in learning decisions and opportunities

  • Provides greater opportunities for individualised, project-based and deep learning

  • Retains a strong focus on literacy and numeracy instruction

  • Is adventurous, with nature-based camps and excursions

  • Develops meaningful pathways to future opportunities in higher education and enterprise

  • Prioritises skills in creative thinking, collaboration
    and communication

  • Encourages design thinking to envisage positive futures for themselves, their community and their planet

We are excited to keep growing and to offer our unique learning program to students in our new Middle School classroom.

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In line with The Small School’s educational philosophy and learning program, we have expanded into secondary school as a registered school.


What is democratic education?


Democratic education involves children in conversations and decisions in class and school meetings and across the learning environment. Practice in reflective discussion and decision-making gives children the opportunity to learn how to explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas and how to articulate them. We want our students to understand how they think and why they think in a particular way. We believe this directs our students towards a meaningful life. It underpins our educational philosophy and creates our culture of enquiry, critical thought, communication and participation.

Information about registered high schools

What is a registered school?
A registered school delivers 6 Key Learning Areas (KLAs) and their associated learning outcomes, but the content is not prescribed in the syllabus.


What does it mean for my child at The Small School?
Teachers, along with their students, are able to devise their own content to meet the mandatory learning outcomes. It will mean a far less restrictive approach, the curriculum will be less crowded, and it will allow for self-directed and deeper learning and an emergent curriculum, where teachers plan activities and projects based on the specific group of children they are working with.

What about the HSC & ROSA? 
As a registered high school, The Small School is not eligible to present candidates for the award of the RoSA or HSC. Accredited high schools offer the RoSA and HSC.

How does my child access university without an ATAR? 
We will work with all students to identify their goals and develop their pathway beyond school. There are numerous pathways to higher education (including university) and working life other than through the confines of the HSC, such as:
• bridging programs
• vocational training
• cross institutional study
• university acceptance based on portfolio assessments
• workplace pathways

How to enrol
To enrol your child in year 7 or 8 in 2023, fill in an expression of interest form on our website.

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