REVEALED: Sneak peek at Lismore’s newest school
IT'S not every day you get the chance to open a new school in Lismore, let alone a campus right in the centre of the CBD.
However the man behind Bali's internationally renowned Green School, John Stewart, has done just that, last week opening the doors to the hotly anticipated Living School Northern Rivers for its first year of operation.
Since its first appearance in Lismore City Council development applications, the Conway Street school has been an item of interest for residents, with many keen to see what the new independent school would be like.
As conductor of the new school, Mr Stewart said the community response since opening the doors on Tuesday had been "amazing".
"The biggest highlight for me has been seeing the community come together," he said.
The school has welcomed 83 students for its inaugural year, with students coming from as far as Kingscliff and Ballina to attend, as well as other Lismore regional villages such as Clunes and Rosebank.
Mr Stewart said while the school was still taking enrolments, especially for kindergarten and the Years 7-8, he was thrilled to see some age groups filled, with a waiting list in place.
The school has also welcomed a staffing roster of seven to eight teachers on board.
One such teacher is Mal Stekhoven-Smith, formerly from the Hunter Valley.
Mr Stekhoven-Smith said when he first read about Living School, he was immediately intrigued, before deciding to take the chance to teach at the "revolutionary" new school.
"It was the philosophy behind the school, the philosophy which John has which ties in exactly with mine," he said.
"It's all about finding their passion and growing the interest these students already have. My teaching style is very closely aligned with John's. It was a perfect fit."
Mr Stewart said while this was the very first year of the school, there was much more to come with plenty of big plans already in progress.
"This is just the beginning, we're just a start-up right now. We're looking to be constantly growing and changing," he said.
"It really is a living school."
This year, the campus was expected to welcome Living Kinder, a new holistic childcare centre based on the Living School philosophy, as well as a number of plans to expand the school's campus.