Welcome to the school of the future
A Gold Coast school taking a new approach to education has been so successful they are opening a second campus. Here's your first look at the school of the future.
A census by independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) has revealed Special Assistance Schooling (SAS), a program focused on at-risk youth is now offered in more ten per cent of all independent schools state wide.
It is three times the number which were offering the SAS courses in 2013.
Schools with SAS support young people, many dealing with deep trauma or disadvantage, to complete their education
Arcadia College, at Varsity Lakes is a prime example of growing demand for alternate options through SAS.
Arcadia was specifically designed for young people who have disengaged from mainstream schooling.
Arcadia principal Micheal Roberts said his school had followed the trend with student numbers jumping from 40 to 230 in just six years.
"There is absolutely a need for a different approach to education, that is why growth is so enormous," Mr Roberts said.
"I have heard that SAS schooling is the fastest growing sector in the country and it certainly could be on the Gold Coast.
"On the Gold Coast, Government high schools are almost routinely above 1500 students, so this feeling of being lost in the crowd is one that a lot of students come to us saying they have experienced.
"We also see quite a lot coming to us because of bullying in main stream schools, others come to us because they are different and don't fit in."
Mr Roberts said the school's priority was providing a tailored and one-on-one learning experience.
SAS schools are also staffed by welfare workers, counsellors and educators who work together to draws out student strengths.
"The number one thing is the ability to really get to know the students and form really good relationships.
"Not only do we have smaller class sizes, we have a model whereby we have one or three teachers in the classroom.
"There is a philosophical and structural difference."
The new ultra-modern multimillion-dollar campus to be built at Robina comes equipped with a rock climbing wall, and indoor sports area, open and bright classrooms finished off with a sleek modern industrial design.
ISQ Acting Executive Director Mark Newham said while the traditional school model served the majority of students well, it wasn't the right environment for all, particularly those who had experienced adversity or trauma.
"These schools have small class sizes and create a better future for themselves," he said.
"This can be very challenging and confronting work for the dedicated employees of these schools, but it can also be incredibly rewarding when students' lives change for the better."