On the Gold Coast there are two types of schools; State and Private Schools. A State School is a Queensland government funded school that follows the state curriculum while Private Schools are made up of a diverse range of school cultures and teachings where the curriculum is set entirely by the individual's school charter. (read: State vs Private - How to choose the right school for you? for more on this topic)
While most private schools on the Gold Coast have a religious affiliation there are a few that are independent and even fewer that offer alternative teaching philosophies like Steiner or Montessori education.
Here's an overview of the schools on the Gold Coast offering alternative education programs.
Steiner School on the Gold Coast
The nearest Steiner Schools for Gold Coast students are located across the border in Northern NSW including Aetaomah School in Terragon, Shearwater Steiner School in Mullumbimby and Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School in Byron Bay. While the closest Steiner school located in Queensland is the Samford Valley Steiner School 30km North West of Brisbane.
Benowa State High School offers a Waldorf Steiner Excellence Program for students of Year 7 to Year 12. The program provides a creative and academic way of learning to extend students in all subject areas. Students accepted into the program undertake, Extension English, Mathematics, History, Geography and the Sciences. In addition, a creative program including Visual Art, Music, Dance and Drama are interwoven throughout units of study and across the course.
Montessori School on the Gold Coast
When it comes to Montessori education, there are a number of Early Learning Centres that offer the Montessori educational program, but the nearest Montessori primary or high school to the Gold Coast is the Brisbane Montessori School located just outside of Brisbane.
Other Alternative Schools on the Gold Coast
The Village School Gold Coast located in Coolangatta opened its doors in 2021 for primary school students from Prep to Year 6 across two mixed-age classes. They follow a mix of teaching philosophies that are child-focused and play- and skills-based and provide curiosity-led and place-based learning experiences with consistent low student to teacher ratios.
Silkwood School is set in a beautiful location in the Gold Coast Hinterland. They offer an alternative and progressive approach to education modelled on the Steiner School philosophy, catering to students from Prep to Year 12. A new senior school campus, for student year 10 to year 12, opened in Robina in 2022.
Toogoolawa School in Ormeau is a small school for boys from grades 3-10 who find it difficult to function in mainstream schools, particularly those boys who feel overwhelmed by large numbers of students and who respond better to small groups. Their teachings are designed around the five values of Truth, Love, Peace, Right Conduct and Non-violence. Mindfulness Meditation is central in it's practices.