What is Total Education?

Total Education

A holistic way of learning from prep to 12

Total Education celebrates and supports each individual child, giving them the opportunity to explore and develop their unique interests, talents, strengths and weaknesses through our holistic approach to the Australian Curriculum.

We’ve seen the positive impact a holistic education style has on our students’ sense of self, sense of place, and internal compass. Our students grow into confident, thoughtful, and engaged community members that are able to contribute to the world.

The Total Education philosophy








All children need skills in literacy, numeracy and much else in the way of academic knowledge. Yet academic achievement often overshadows other vital areas of development, including character.

The development of character is essential to raising positive and involved students, but it must be worked on from a young age. Values such as patience, kindness, forgiveness and consistency are encouraged in the students through stories, example and in the open resolution of the everyday issues which arise amongst the children. We believe the most important influence on character is having good role models, and both teachers and parents have a crucial part to play in this. The school’s academic results are excellent partly because of this balance.


Healthy bodies and healthy minds are essential to performance in an educational environment.

To ensure our students are equipped to reach their potential, SOTE encourages everyone to engage in healthy living, both at home and at school. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and participating in physical activities in class and independently. The focus on quietening practices builds in each child a capacity for emotional equilibrium and resilience which enhances both mental and physical wellbeing.

With emphasis on participation, enjoyment and development of skills, participation in healthy living is continued into adult life.


Our school philosophy focuses on the complete development of our students and academic performance remains a critical part of this.

Through encouraging self-motivation and self-discipline, SOTE students are able to achieve academic excellence in traditional disciplines such as maths, science and English. We also place emphasis on learnings relevant to each child, offering the opportunity for students to stretch their unique talents in an academic setting.


In school, and in life, people are willing and able to apply themselves more wholeheartedly to subjects that they have an interest in.

Owing to small classes, SOTE offers the opportunity for students to explore their interests in a way that is both educational and fun. Students are innately interested in the subject matter and therefore more dedicated to fully applying themselves in class. We also have the chance to help students discover their innateness, something which might be overlooked in a traditional classroom environment.


At SOTE, we’re so much more than a school; we’re a community.

Our academic philosophy brings together students, parents and teachers to educate, inspire and support each other. We collaborate to ensure that we’re giving our students the best possible chance at success.

A community requires a level of cohesion, a sense of shared values, open communication and a level of positive interdependence. The school aims to build this kind of community for the benefit of not only the children but the teachers and parents as well.


The relationships we build are the foundations of our community.

Whether it be among students, parents or faculty, our relationships are the glue that binds us together. As testament to the strong relationships we build, every day at SOTE sees students helping students, parents supporting each other through shared experiences and teachers working with families to ensure a cohesive experience across home and school life.

Why Total Education?

Confident children

Our students grow into confident, thoughtful and empowered adults that are ready to engage in the world.

Intrinsic motivation

SOTE helps students to grow into self-motivated, hard-working individuals that take great pride in what they do.

Good community members
By instilling positive values and leading by example, we help to develop involved members of society that value the importance of service to others.

Strong moral values
Through placing importance on the development of character, students gain a strong moral compass & take pride in doing right.

Learning for life
By equipping our students with the skills to seek answers rather than memorise facts, SOTE develops a love for learning that continues throughout life.

Total Education FAQs

How does SOTE support children with special needs?

Our Special Needs Program operates in the framework of the philosophy of Total Education. This provides a balance between academic, health and character development.

Teachers affirm the value of concentration, finding an interest in what is being studied, self-discipline, effective study techniques and a co-operative attitude towards learning (where students don’t view each other as rivals, but as colleagues, and are encouraged to be happy for each other’s success).

We have a Coordinator working 4 days per week whose role is to provide support to students, parents, teachers, teacher aides and school staff.  We have a commitment to providing support to each individual child as needed.  We spend time learning about children’s needs, building relationships and providing them with the appropriate support to meet their needs.

Support can range from differentiating teaching, changes to the environment, providing aiding support or running specialised programs in the classroom

What after hours support is available?

Once enrolled, families are supplied with a Parent Handbook that contains information regarding after hours support. This contains the private contact numbers for the teaching staff and parents are invited to contact the teachers out of hours if necessary about concerns for the children.

How do SOTE staff teach discipline?

If we can creatively discipline our children, we shall be steering them – in ways they can accept – towards positive behaviour and thinking. This leads them towards self-discipline.

To do this, we need to understand the different stages children go through and the needs inherent in each one. We also need to appreciate they are all different and we need to avoid disciplining everything at the same time. Using our imagination, being flexible and doing the unexpected really help here.

How are children rewarded for hard work?

At The School of Total Education, we encourage intrinsic motivation that students gain from being involved in personally meaningful, authentic learning experiences, performing well and working cooperatively with others.

Intrinsic motivation — such as interest, enjoyment, curiosity, challenge, effort and a desire for excellence — is within the individual’s control, and thus has an impact on a student’s capacity to self manage and lessen the need to be driven by competition.

On the other hand, external motivation such as rewards, stickers, charts, prizes, trophies and ribbons, is beyond the individual’s locus of control.

Extrinsic rewards are short term and do not build self-efficacy. Once these are removed, the reason for performing an activity for its own sake or for personal gratification is no longer there. External motivation is fragile and cannot sustain the individual for the long term.