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Choosing a high school can be very stressful for parents as they attempt to find the best fit for their child amongst a daunting array of options.  For many children, the move from primary to secondary education can be one of their most challenging periods at school.

For some children, a smaller high school, and all its benefits, may be a great alternative option for the transition from primary school or home-schooling to a large and potentially overwhelming secondary school environment.

Small independent schools like Treetops occupy a space that cannot be filled by larger mainstream learning environments – an opportunity for the nurture of young people that will create a foundation for them to flourish.

At Treetops, our Secondary School has a maximum of approximately sixty students from Years 7 to 12, and our students’ educational journeys are very personal.  They know, and are known by, their teachers and enjoy a very collaborative learning environment.  Learning experiences are tailored to meet individual need, and interest is facilitated through small class sizes and Montessori-inspired learning approaches – a true ‘no tears and no boredom’ school experience.

Classrooms with Montessori ‘prepared environments’ are designed to meet the physical and psychological needs of the child at each stage of development.  Our Secondary School prepared environment is most commonly associated with independence, order, choice, movement, and materials.

Our Secondary students operate with increasing independence and enjoy a level of agency seldom experienced in mainstream schools.  The learning environment is ordered, with a strong emphasis upon not being a distraction for the learning of others.  Students, in consultation with their teachers, are able to choose the order that they complete various learning tasks, or their component parts.  They move more freely in the classroom as, not surprisingly, most people don’t like sitting still for long periods of time.

The materials that our students access are increasingly specialised and can often be quite expensive.  Treetops students enjoy access to equipment, and a level of trust in its use, well beyond that of their mainstream school peers and more akin to what would be expected in a workplace.

The Treetops community greatly values pro-social behaviours.  Pro-social behaviours are those intended to help other people.  These actions are characterised by a concern for the rights, feelings, and welfare of others.  Behaviours that can be described as pro-social include feeling empathy and concern for others.

Student feedback reflects that not only do they feel safe at Treetops, but this is an essential component of what they value about their school.

Typical age group social boundaries are not evident at Treetops, as students freely interact with students from all year groups, making friendships based on maturity and interests rather than being limited to age-group peers.

Senior Secondary is also a time where many students consider their Year 11 & 12 options and future pathways.  Treetops has the flexibility to give Senior Secondary students a similar range of academic options as much larger schools, but delivered with all the individual care and attention that a small school has to offer.

If your child is soon to make the transition to high school, or looking for Senior Secondary options, and think they would benefit from a small and nurturing high school environment, contact Treetops today to book a personalised tour and learn about the Treetops difference.

Stuart Harris
Principal, Treetops Montessori School