Opening September 2026

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.

Values are a person or group’s basic and fundamental moral standards and beliefs that guide or motivate their attitudes and actions. In our case the values that follow are those that we consider the most important to our school. These values are the foundations that help us to determine what is important to us and ensure that our decisions are aligned with our intentions.

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.

Something to live and grow by

We aren’t the sort of organisation that puts up a couple of key words that we think sound good. Instead, we want to create foundations that ensure we achieve what everyone needs now and in the long-term. As we nurture our resilient and magical Hawthorn, these values will act as the the soil in which we plant the seeds, and from where the tree grows, is tended to, and in which it will stand strong.

The ABCDEFG of Hawthorn values


People of all ages deserve to have personal agency over their experiences, their development, and their lives now and in the future. At Hawthorn Small School, we weave this level of autonomy through every aspect of what we do, ensuring everyone learns, works and plays in alignment with their own personal agency.

Agency at Hawthorn Small School means we are:

  • Self-directed
  • Fully involved in decisions and experiences (voice and choice)
  • Part of consent culture
  • Supported to be personally capable
  • Responsible for our actions and choices
  • Held accountable with compassion.


The most fundamental principle in nature is that of regulation or balance. Therefore, everything that nature (including humans) need is maintained on the principle of enough, but not too much. At Hawthorn Small School we seek to find this balance throughout our relationships, and within everything we do, including in how we help students regulate themselves and their needs, how we balance the curriculum, time within our day and how team members balance their lives for the wellbeing of the whole community.

Balance at Hawthorn Small School means that we:

  • Are well-regulated as a whole human
  • Understand what balance looks like for ourselves and others
  • Have a considered learning and working environment
  • Have a well-rounded and suitable curriculum
  • Have the right amount of time in and out of school
  • Ensure the school day meets the needs of the age-group.


We know that many people who come to Hawthorn Small School don’t feel brave at first, whether student or adult. Often we have come here through a story that can leave us feeling pretty vulnerable at times, and we might believe we are not good enough. If you feel like this, you are in good company. We have felt this way before too. The thing to remember, is that someone who isn’t scared, and vulnerable, cannot be brave. There is no courage, without fear. It took great fear, vulnerability and courage to create this school. Living courageously is the only way to live as a whole human in this world, and we aim to lead with courage in the hope we can inspire students to do the same.

Courage at Hawthorn Small School means we:

  • Are willing to try things out
  • Feel safe to make mistakes and be vulnerable
  • Feel capable to step up and out of our comfort zone even when it is scary
  • Are able to say no and set boundaries even when we are afraid
  • Allow ourselves to challenge others and be challenged
  • Create a consistent and supported space where people can be courageous.


It is diversity that ensures the survival of any species, and it must be celebrated and encouraged at all opportunities. We do not just accept difference at Hawthorn Small School, we look for it and celebrate it. Furthermore, we seek diversity in the approaches we take to learning, the tools we use, and the content of the curriculum.

Diversity at Hawthorn School means we:

  • Celebrate all kinds of human difference
  • Increase our understanding of all individual difference and general diversity more deeply
  • Encourage divergent thinking and diverse perspectives
  • Use diverse approaches to learning
  • Actively work against stigma and systems that oppress people and groups
  • Are adaptable to changing circumstance and different needs.


Exploration is a natural human drive to find out new information, and to seek truth through investigation and experience. At Hawthorn Small School we understand that encouraging, and instilling the skills for, exploration in people leads them to choose life-long learning and supports innovation.

Exploration at Hawthorn Small School means we:

  • Encourage multiple perspectives to see a fuller picture
  • Take plenty of time to let connections arise
  • Have as many different experiences as possible
  • Hold ideas and concepts lightly whilst continuing investigation
  • Are adaptable when new discoveries are made
  • Are willing to ditch things that are not working and try again
  • Choose and assess different tools within our exploration.


Facilitation is an unobtrusive and empowering form of achieving education. At Hawthorn Small School facilitation is the key to creating a dynamic learning environment where students enhance their knowledge, skills and understanding. We , as a team of facilitators, are dedicated to a collaborative learning paradigm, empowering students to learn in their own unique way, with highly-trained professional scaffolding when needed. We believe that discovery is a team activity, so we focus on skills and behaviours that foster effective learning.

Facilitation at Hawthorn Small School means we:

  • Recognise that humans learn best through direct experience and observation rather than simply being told information. We strive to model learning and explorative behaviours through engaging experiences.
  • Provide context for the topics being explored and supporting each other to find connection with themselves, others and the environment.
  • Encourage open conversations and play. We believe in the power of open dialogue, playful interactions, and the exploration of stories as valuable tools for learning and understanding.
  • Teach knowledge and resource access skills to equip students with the necessary skills to access and utilise knowledge and resources effectively, empowering them as independent learners.
  • Offer supportive scaffolding to provide the necessary support to meet the diverse needs of each student, ensuring both regulation and learning are supported.
  • Establish and maintaining suitable and appropriate boundaries to ensure the wellbeing and growth of everyone involved, balancing individual need with the needs of others within the community and the environment.


Growth is an ever expanding idea. It doesn’t get to a point, an age, a certificate or an exam and stop. It is life-long. At Hawthorn Small School our goal is always about supporting personal growth, and a desire for continuous expansion. We also understand that learning and growth comes from making mistakes and changed understanding and behaviour, and so we encourage and celebrate imperfection as a fundamental skill to successfully achieve our goals for growth.

Growth at Hawthorn Small School means we:

  • Recognise each other’s successful progression and learning
  • Encourage appropriate risk-taking
  • Understand that mastery takes effort and work
  • View challenge and struggle as an opportunity for discovery
  • Focus on the process more than the outcome
  • Provide actionable and constructive feedback in real time.

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