The school was established in 1969, when the then Woodley Preparatory School was purchased by the founders. It was one of a number of alternative schools that pioneered the application in Australia of the ideas of progressive educationalist A. S. Neill.
The school commenced with 116 students in January 1970: 72 in the preschool and 44 in the primary. The school expanded to include a second adjacent building in 1971. In 2003 the school had 71 students; in 2004 this had grown to 88 students in 2006 the school had 93 students. The Commonwealth government uses a measure of socio-economic status of independent schools to help determine their funding; Currambena has scored highly on this scale (meaning its students live in high socio-economic status locations).
As an alternative school, Currambena experienced external pressures from increasing standardisation of curricula, and from reforms to student assessment. Representatives of the school were prominent in criticising developments in education policy such as the introduction of national standardised tests.
Organisation and activities
The school is administered by a council comprising six parents and three teachers; it has no school principal. The board is democratic and responsible for curriculum, facilities and employment decisions. The original articles of association stipulated a maximum class size of 25; this was subsequently reduced to 22, with classes split into three age groups.
- "History". Currambena School. 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
- Binger, Annette (2006-07-02). "Parent power". Sunday Age.
- Andresen, Lee; David Boud; Ruth Cohen. "Experienced Based Learning". In Foley, G. Understanding Adult Education and Training. Sydney: Allen & Unwin. pp. 225–239.
- Department of Education, Science and Training (February 2004). "Answer to Question No. E857_04" (PDF). Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- Dick, Tim (2004-03-13). "Teachers say tests will take fun from learning" (PDF). Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
- Mortimer, Amy (2001). "Progressive education: The lived experiences of Currambena School 1969-2001". Post Internship Conference 2001. University of Sydney Faculty of Education. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
- Currambena School Education Committee (October 2000). "Submission to the Inquiry into States Grants (Primary and Secondary Education Assistance) Bill 2000". Senate Employment, Workplace Relations, Small Business and Education Committee. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- "School organisation". Currambena School. 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
- Denney, Margot (2001-02-13). "One-third of pupils go private". The Australian.
- Currambena School (2007). "Class composition". Currambena School. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- Selinger-Morris, Samantha (2008-04-26). "Schools take a star turn". Sydney Morning Herald.
- Heilpern, David (2008). "David Heilpern - 1970". Currambena School. Retrieved 2009-06-30.