The Tribe

The Tribe

The Tribe is designed for a small group of motivated and passionate kids from 6 to 12 years who are home-schooled or enrolled in school, to unite with the Maxwell Creative primary School students in a democratic and creative learning session.

It is held every Friday afternoon during school term, from 1pm-3.30pm.

Term 2: 23rd April – 21st June (3 week winter break)

The Tribe is a parent-stay program.


Enrolments are open!

Term 2: 23rd April – 21st June (3 week winter break)

Friday 1pm – 3.30pm… click on the button below.

Enrolment form

Our Goals

We aim for the children to be (in no particular order):

  • generating and pursuing ideas
  • incorporating others into their ideas
  • building listening and democratic skills
  • adding value to their environment and to each other
  • communicating care to the farm animals
  • designing projects
  • documenting their processes
  • broadening their range of technical skills
  • partnering with community organisations, artists, and businesses, and
  • performing or presenting their work to their project’s beneficiaries.

The Tribe’s educator

Jane Macdonald conference

Jane Macdonald, SoCE’s founder, is The Tribe’s facilitator.  Jane empowers the children to grow through a journey of self-direction and collaboration into project design, development, fulfillment and presentations.

Jane is a specialist educator with over 15 years experience and three degrees in education. Her specialisations include blindness and low vision, autism spectrum disorder, and the creative arts.


The Tribe is encouraged to, as much as they can, manage their session themselves.

The first meeting of every session is lead by a chair person and scribe nominated by The Tribe. The chair person asks what ideas The Tribe has for their session and asks the group to vote for participation while the scribe takes notes on the white board.

Most ideas the children raise have a social and ecological focus.

Our program is an indoor-outdoor program. The Tribe are free to play in both environments with all toys and art materials including the Maker-Space. The Tribe has full access to the whole property including the dam (child-fenced), paddocks, fire pits, conservation area, playground, orchard, sandpit, sports court, and the animals.

Our projects often include:

  • nature-art including drawing, painting and craft
  • design and creation of outdoor spaces
  • 10 minute make-it challenges

Our activities include:

  • creating the vegetable garden
  • exploring the paddocks, bush, orchard and dam
  • discos
  • project and challenge presentations
  • farm chores
  • feeding the chooks and duck, and collecting eggs
  • sharing afternoon tea
  • arts and construction activities
  • film making
  • caring for our guinea pig family
  • constructing with adult tools
  • cooking in the open fire, and
  • pursuing our individual and collective ideas and projects.


The structure usually follows this sequence:

Time Activity
1pm arrive and free-play with the Maxwell Creative School children
1.30pm democratic meeting, nominate a chairperson and scribe for the meeting,  suggest and vote on activity ideas for the session, reflect on the development of The Tribe’s eco-projects and plan for progression, discuss problems they are experiencing
1.50pm facilitation of the activities based upon their ideas from the meeting, and progression of The Tribe’s eco-projects
2.30pm afternoon tea
2.45pm facilitation of the activities based upon their ideas from the meeting, and progression of The Tribe’s eco-projects
3.20pm democratic meeting, make plans for afternoon tea next week, and share reflections
3.30pm home time
Enrolment form

Fees per session

The fees for each term in 2019 are:

  • $22 for eldest child in the family, $17 for second, and $12 for third and fourth children.


Refunds are only offered when children go away on holidays or other travels with their families.

Our Why

We are concerned that research shows:

  • childrens’ creative abilities substantially reduce during their school years
  • a social, economic and environmental demand for creativity, and
  • increasing current and emerging social and ecological issues for which solutions are not yet found.

SoCE aims to ensure children have the best possible chance to:

  • grow into adults adept to working together
  • be part of the solution to social and ecological and social issues, and
  • are able to co-create their chosen culture, long after we are gone.

We do this by providing education through:

  • the creative process rather than the academic
  • the democratic process rather than the authoritarian
  • the natural world rather than the manufactured.

Where we are

Our campus is at 6 Rainy Hill Road, Cockatoo. We occupy the new building.

What to bring

We spend most of our time outside, so…

  • gumboots all year round
  • a complete change of clothes for children and adults
  • sun hats during terms 1 and 4, and beanies during terms 2 and 3
  • warm, wind and waterproof jackets and pants (where possible) during terms 2 and 3
  • ingredients for lunch which the home-schooled groups decide upon the previous session, and
  • medications if needed.

We encourage families to keep their mobile phones on them at all times.

All bags can be stored on a hook at the front door.