Opening September 2026

Our values

Hawthorn Small School is not open. It is expected that we will open as a school in September 2026.

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 these values that follow are those that we consider the most important. 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.

As we nurture our resilient and magical Hawthorn, these values 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. 

Value agency


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, this level of autonomy is woven 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 being:

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


The most fundamental principle in nature is that of regulation or balance. Everything that nature (and therefore 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:

  • Being well-regulated as a whole human
  • Understanding what balance looks like for ourselves and others
  • Having a considered learning and working environment
  • Having a well-rounded and suitable curriculum
  • Having the right amount of time in and out of school
  • Ensuring the school day meets the needs of the age-group.
Value Courage


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:

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


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. Further to this, diversity is a value impacting the approaches we take to learning, the tools we use, and the content of the curriculum.

Diversity at Hawthorn School means:

  • Celebrating all kinds of human difference
  • Increasing our understanding of all individual difference and general diversity more deeply
  • Encouraging divergent thinking and diverse perspectives
  • Using diverse approaches to learning
  • Actively working against stigma and systems that oppress people and groups
  • Being adaptable to changing circumstance and different needs.
Value Exploration


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:

  • Encouraging multiple perspectives to see a fuller picture
  • Taking plenty of time to let connections arise
  • Having as many different experiences as possible
  • Holding ideas and concepts lightly whilst continuing investigation
  • Being adaptable when new discoveries are made
  • Being willing to ditch things that are not working and try again
  • Choosing and assessing different tools within our exploration.
Value Facilitation


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. Our team of facilitators is 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:

  • Recognising 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.
  • Providing context for the topics being explored and supporting each other to find connection with themselves, others and the environment.
  • Encouraging 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.
  • Teaching 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.
  • Offering supportive scaffolding to provide the necessary support to meet the diverse needs of each student, ensuring both regulation and learning are supported.
  • Establishing 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:

  • Recognising each others’ successful progression and learning
  • Encouraging appropriate risk-taking
  • Understanding that mastery takes effort and work
  • Viewing challenge and struggle as an opportunity for discovery
  • Focusing on the process more than the outcome
  • Providing actionable and constructive feedback in real time.
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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.

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