Australian pupils will step through the doors of a new type of school next week, a school that doesn’t have classrooms, exams or levels.

Lindfield Learning Village located in Sydney’s North Shore is the first of it’s kind in Australia and this year the new facility, which cost the NSW Government $40million to build, is offering places to kids from kindergarten age through to Year 10, shared Daily Mail.

The ‘school of the future’ teaches children through project-based activities and aims to give them the skills to solve ‘real world problems’.

This means instead of learning subjects in a single fashion, a child will learn in a collaborative way about multiple disciplines.

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There will be teachers, but children will be also be mentored by others who are older than them as well as learn from mixed aged peers.

There aren’t assessments either – at least not in a formal sense.

Principal Stephanie McConnell told the ABC pupils will be evaluated ‘but perhaps not in the way we understand assessment in a traditional environment’.

‘A student might choose a particular point in time when they feel they can demonstrate the learning required to meet a particular learning outcome.’

There is no classrooms with teaching instead being done around ‘waterholes’ which are spaces dedicated to big groups, ‘campfires’ – spaces for small groups working with a teacher and ‘caves’ – spaces for children who want to work on their own.

Not everyone loves the concept though

Many people weren’t convinced this type of educational system was a solution to current learning problems.

One woman wrote: ‘I sort of cringed while watching this. I think giving kids real life problem solving skills is great but there’s so many aspects of this model that are unrealistic.

‘Wouldn’t this model be better if it was paired with traditional learning, particularly English and maths so they actually have the foundational knowledge to be able to solve the problems?’

Another questioned the school’s model of progressing children by ability rather than by age and assessment.

‘The problem with these educational fads is that they think they have to abandon everything that is ‘old’ when in reality the answer is somewhere in the middle.’

Another said, ‘I taught in a school with a similar approach/philosophy. It was beneficial for some students, but for many, it failed the students, which is why I had to leave after 2 years.

‘Let’s hope this new school has done their research. I hope it works well and is a great success because our current education system needs an overhaul.’

Share your comments below

  • Different, sounds like it could be good way to teach. Will be interesting to follow up with ex students and see how they’ve done in life


  • Different, never heard of such a thing. As long as it works and they’re equipped to go on to uni if they decide. They might not have the skills/experience of stricter learning and exams etc and struggle with higher education.


  • It sounds great, in theory. Awesome concept for kindergarten. Some ideas are great for school but real world….we can’t always just do whatever we want whenever we want to at work, we have deadlines, meetings and we have to justify our time. Maybe a better approach would be a little bit of traditional schooling and some of the new concepts. We don’t necessarily need a radical change, maybe add a couple of changes first and see how they go, once they work , then add a couple more etc.


  • interesting concept – but as a teacher I’m skeptical as to the overall benefits of this type of schooling.


  • Except John Marsden has been running a school like this outside Melbourne for years.


  • sounds like a great and innovative school i like the concept and think its a great idea


  • One of my daughters would do really well at a school like this. The other would fail miserably. I hope that it works for the children that attend it as their education is so important and that is what is being experimented with.


  • I’d be interested to see how this school goes. I like the idea of less structure in many ways but feel that some subjects require structure to learn effectively. Also, unless they are going to work at Google, this is not a realistic projection of what most learning / the workplace will look like for them in the future.


  • It will be interesting to see how successful this way of teaching ends up being. I know exams create a lot of stress for kids, but I think it’s necessary to keep up with what they’ve retained and what needs more effort. Although it would be more difficult for those kids who aren’t good at book learning, this school sounds ideal for them


  • Only time will tell if this model/system can prepare children for life after school. I don’t think it would be suitable for all children.


  • Wow I don’t think this is such a great idea I wouldn’t be putting my children in a school like this each to there own but if it suits your children that’s great just not for me


  • I know a girl who went to a school similar but with classrooms and year numbers. She was way behind what other schools were teaching as far as things such addition and subtraction were concerned. The alphabet instead being proper basic writing looked similar to a object that started with that letter. e.g S had like and head and tail on it like a snake does. During High School she swapped to a public school. She was so far behind that she got bored and dropped out of school. I don’t know how long it took her to get a job. She is now a hairdresser.


  • I don’t see it developing students into young adults who would be able to cope in the world. You do need basic reading, writing and maths skills and if these have been ignored through teaching then you are disadvantaging the children later in life. IT says to help children learn “real world problems” but it does not say what they are… most “world problems” are to do with money, religion and politics. I am also not convinced at why stop at year 10 – does that mean they then have to adjust to mainstream. i don’t feel this has been properly thought though long term.
    However I do believe that this type of school could be extremely helpful for a few individuals who cannot cope in the main stream and perhaps have sever learning difficulties and the emphasis is taken off classroom style learning. And I also think this would be good for the early years kindy, pre school or as a holiday camp but not as the only means of educating a child. I am interested to see what the outcomes are and if they change their teaching and style over the years.


  • Interesting but what happens when they finish year 10? Do they get put into conventional schooling and have trouble adjusting to HSC/VCE? What happens when it comes to university? I like the idea but I am not sure about the reality


  • It is very different to our sculptured system!


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