Opening September 2026

School opens 2026
Part-time learning pod open NOW

A whole human approach to education

Human scale education

Size matters

Opening in 2026, Hawthorn Small School will be a small, independent school in the New Forest that caters holistically to the diverse needs of students who choose to learn in a democratic community. We offer a naturally human experience that prepares for a high-tech future.

Our mission is to be a sustainable community for progressive, autonomous, human scale education that nurtures and develops students inclusively; co-creating personalised learning that inspires a life of wonder and success.

Four schools in one community

Community structured learning

Flexi school (Branch pod)

A flexible, part-time learning pod that supplements home education, for students from 11 to 16.


Play-based, flexible, child-centred introduction to the learning community from 3 to 10 years..


Collaborative, consent-based, and professionally facilitated learning from 11 to 16 years.


Self-driven and directed, professionally facilitated learning from 16 to 19 years.

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery "

Mark van Doren

Progressive education

Our approach to education is truly human

Every part of Hawthorn Small School will be considered and purposeful. We live our values and guiding principles and use these to make the decisions that govern how we run the school, the organisation, the team and how we show up everyday.

Whole human approach

We actively consider every aspect of being human in our approach. This means making all five areas of human regulation a priority in the design of the environment, the curriculum, the day, and in the hearts of the whole team.

Trans-disciplinary projects

In each learning cycle students will be engaged in trans-disciplinary projects that span our curriculum, building knowledge and skills through genuine curiosity and interest.

Natural human-scale environment

The school site will be designed around the natural needs of human beings. Nurturing, comfortable and naturally regulating spaces on a human scale that inspire curiosity are woven through the environment

Autonomous and consent-based

Students have ultimate autonomy over their learning with lots on offer. The Hawthorn team provide opportunities at every turn and then facilitate deep exploration.

We are part of the family.
All the way through.

When you join Hawthorn School, you will become part of the community. It isn’t just the student that joins, it is as a whole family. We work together as a community to build human relationships that nurture and last.

What people say about us


Feel like you don't fit?

We actively include people who often feel out of place

School refusal and anxiety

We will be an ideal setting for students who have struggled with their mental health in a mainstream setting.

Autism and ADHD

We celebrate neurodiversity and specialise in meeting the needs of neurodivergent students whether officially diagnosed or not.

Learning and sensory differences

In a whole human approach to education, cognitive, learning and sensory needs and differences are considered in detail for every student.

Passionate about progressive education and neuropsychology

News and ideas

About the school

Values: The ABCDEF and G of Hawthorn Small School

We have spent the last six weeks exploring and discovering these core values, and then ensuring that they are something we can live by. We know that our understanding and practice will always grow but we are confident that these values will ensure we develop in the way we want to for the people who need us.

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Welcome to Hawthorn small school
About the school

Welcome to Hawthorn Small School

Hello. I am the Human Needs director of Hawthorn Small School. In a minute I will introduce you to Maz, our inspiring Education director, with whom I co-founded and co-direct the school.

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If you are considering Hawthorn Small School please get in contact with us so that we can chat about your families’ needs and what we offer.

Please Enquire here