Child Side Playgroup

and School follows

child protection and

protective behaviour

processes.  We deliver

the Keeping Safe: Child

Protection Curriculum.



is inspired
by the

practices of

which are
woven into a
flexible & organic
style of education
designed for

What We Offer
High adult to child ratio

each child is well-known, cared about and unlikely to slip through the cracks

Small by design

we can seriously personalise learning and academically challenge every child and humanise the process

Highly researched

innovative practice relevant to living in the 21st Century, connecting children to the world rather than isolating them behind four walls and a door; children who can cope and thrive with modern living and its requirements


work place conducive for all children to ‘be, belong, become’ – engaged and responsive children enjoying their childhood and education


Karron McDonald: Co-principal / Play Group Coordinator /Administrator

Karron McDonald is a founding member of Child Side School and Playgroup.  She currently holds the positions of Parent, Administrator, Playgroup Listener and Co-Principal and carries out many varied roles from finances and infrastructure to gardening to working with individual children and music with the Early Childhood group.

Prior to Child Side Karron worked in a number of State schools as an early Childhood Educator, Deputy Principal and in Special Education and Aboriginal Tuition. In these positions she was actively involved in a variety of projects for State schools including the Flexibility in Schooling Project and the Goodstart Early Childhood Project.

Karron’s greatest joy is working with the children and being part of the Child Side community.  She has three of her own active engaged boys who love learning at Child Side.

Leonie O’Connell: Co-principal / Senior Educator

Leonie O’Connell is a founding member of Child Side school and Playgroup.  She currently holds the positions of Early Year’s Educator, senior educator, co-principal and has a raft of responsibilities and joys associated to these varied roles.

Prior to leading and participating in this innovative venture , Leonie has worked in various State schools ranging from K to year 7 and was involved in various State school projects such as The Flexibility in Schooling Programme and The Multi-aged Grouping Project. She has a 22 year face-to-face involvement with education and has been and currently is actively involved with a number of Professional learning groups (local and nationwide).

Her biggest Professional learning was becoming a parent to 2 boys who are teaching her about engaged living and learning in the 21st century.

Lisa Seewraj: Educator

Lisa Seewraj has been an educator at Child Side School since 2007, and has worked with all ages from K to year 7.  For the last 3 years she has been working as the educator in the older children’s class.

Since arriving in Alice Springs in 2000 she developed an interest in education and has worked in public and independent schools with children from K to year 12 as an inclusion support, aboriginal tuition and special needs assistant.  In 2003, she was further motivated by the arrival of her own child and became a full time mum and student enrolling in distance learning for a bachelor of education. In a former life she lived in England and France where she studied a variety of subjects including podiatry and tourism and worked in a range of jobs from running painting holidays, hosting skiing holidays and lots and lots of cooking.

With a keen interest in kitchen garden, she is an ardent supporter of multi age group classes and committed to creating personalised, meaningful learning with children.

Rachel Wyder: Educator

Rachel Wyder has 20 years of experience teaching in various capacities, including English in China and Sarawak, Chinese language (Mandarin) and Chinese culture to businesses and schools, community drumming, community art, social inclusion projects, integrated curriculum projects and public art projects at various schools and within different communities.

She is a practicing artist and community artist that brings her passion for creativity and the joy of the many languages of expression and communication. Rachel discovered the philosophies of Reggio through art and running workshops at REMIDA.

She is happy to work at a school that values the uniqueness of every child and builds strong community through relationships.

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