Choosing a school on the Sunshine Coast

There is an abundance of high quality schools on the Sunshine Coast. With so many options, choosing the right school for your child can become overwhelming. State or private? Independent or religious?

Choosing a school on the Sunshine Coast is usually determined by four factors: 

Location

State schools are decided by catchment area, so your child will go to the whichever school your home is in the area for. Independent schools can have students attending from across the Sunshine Coast, but you may still prefer to look at schools within a reasonable distance to home, to avoid lengthy school runs and to ensure your child’s friendship group isn’t too spread out.

Philosophy

You may have a particular religion or philosophy that you wish your child’s education to follow. For example, all Catholic schools include an element of religious education each week based on the Catholic faith. Other schools, such as Steiner or Montessori follow an alternative classroom structure to traditional teaching, which might be something that suits your child better. Do your research, attend open days and look at all your options before you decide. 

Performance

All schools perform differently. Some parents hold a school’s performance as most important, others decide by philosophy or the school’s environment. The www.myschool.edu.au site is a good resource to check a school’s results and scores. Remember, something that what works for one child might not work for another. One might grow to love art, whilst another might enjoy science. Therefore, be open to sending siblings to different schools.

Cost

State schools are free; independent schools range from $1,500 up to $15,000 per year.

To find out what state school catchment area you reside in, visit the Queensland Department of Education Catchment Map. For those families considering an independent school, here is a list of all the independent schools on the Sunshine Coast – in alphabetical order.

Independent Schools on the Sunshine Coast

Caloundra Christian College
Location:
Caloundra
Years: Prep to Year 12; ELC on site
About: Caloundra Christian College aims to provide an affordable option to families looking for a quality school that can provide private Christian education on the Sunshine Coast. 

Caloundra City Private School
Location: Pelican Waters
Years:
Prep to Year 12; ELC on site
About: Caloundra City Private School is a private, co-educational, non-denominational school set on 11 hectares in Pelican Waters.

Cooloola Christian College
Location: Gympie
Years: Kindergarten to Year 12
About: A K-12 Christian school in Gympie, with a reputation for high quality education and a commitment to serving the community.

Coolum Beach Christian College
Location:
Coolum
Years: Prep to Year 12
About: An independent coeducational school that aims to deliver a high quality Christian education.

Glasshouse Christian College
Location: Beerwah
Years: Prep to Year 12
About: Glasshouse Christian College is an independent Christian school.

Good Samaritan Catholic College
Location: Bli Bli
Years: Prep to Year 12
About: Opened in 2019, Good Samaritan Catholic College is part of the group of 140 Brisbane Catholic Education schools.

Good Shepherd Lutheran College
Location: Noosaville
Years: Prep to Year 12; ELC on site
About: Established in 1987, Good Shepherd Lutheran College is part of Lutheran Education Queensland.

Immanuel Lutheran Buderim
Location: Buderim
Years: Prep to Year 12; ELC on site
About: Founded in 1979, Immanuel is the longest established independent school on the Sunshine Coast.

Maleny Independent School
Location: Maleny
Years: Year 7 to Year 10
About: Delivering the Australian and Queensland Curriculum requirements with real world experiences using an inquiry based approach supported by specialists and mentors.

Matthew Flinders Anglican College
Location: Buderim; ELC on site
Years: Prep to Year 12
About: A leading Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast that strives for excellence in learning and life.

Montessori International College (MIC)
Location: Forest Glen
Years: Prep to Year 12; ELC on site
About: MIC is an independent, non-denominational IB World School renowned for its innovative learning spaces and highly experienced and dedicated teachers.

Montessori Noosa
Location: Noosa
Years: Students ages 6 to 12 years
About: A small, progressive Montessori school nestled in the heart of beautiful Noosa, Queensland.

Nambour Christian College
Location: Woombye
Years: Prep to Year 12; ELC available
About: A leading independent school on the Sunshine Coast offering excellence in Christian education for children from 15 months to Year 12.

Noosa Christian College
Location: Cooroy
Years: Kindergarten to Year 12
About: A co-educational college set on a beautiful rural campus in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Noosa Pengari Steiner School
Location: Doonan
Years: Kindergarten to Year 12
About: Inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner, Noosa Pengari Steiner School is an independent school that nurtures the free thinkers, offering a balanced journey that nurtures academic learning and creative expression.

Our Lady of the Rosary, Caloundra
Location:
Caloundra
Years:
Prep to Year 6
About:
A co-educational Catholic Parish school offering a sound academic education in a Catholic environment. A member of the Brisbane Catholic Education group of schools.

Pacific Lutheran College
Location: Meridan Plains
Years: Kindergarten to Year 12
About: A co-educational independent private school of the Lutheran Church of Australia, serving the Caloundra, Kawana and Hinterland communities on the Sunshine Coast.

Peregian Beach Community College
Location: Peregian Beach
Years: Prep to Year 12
About: A non-denominational, co-educational, independent school set on 21 acres of bushland that caters for students from Prep to Year 12.

Siena Catholic College
Location: Sippy Downs
Years: Year 7 to Year 12
About: ​Established in 1997, Siena Catholic College has built itself a reputation for excellent Catholic education. Part of the  BCE group of schools.

St Andrew’s Anglican College
Location: Peregian Springs
Years: Prep to Year 12; ELC on site
About: An Anglican College that prides itself on its supportive community and quality education.

St John’s College
Location: Nambour
Years: Year 7 to Year 12
About: A high quality co-educational Catholic High School administered by Brisbane Catholic Education.

St Joseph’s Primary School
Location: Nambour
Years: Prep to Year 6
About: The school has a proud reputation for its inclusive approach to education. Embracing and catering for the needs of its diverse learners with a special focus on the social-emotional wellbeing of all its students.

St Patrick’s College
Location: Gympie
Years: Year 7 to Year 12
About: St Patrick’s College is a Parish based Catholic College catering for Years 7 to 12 in a coeducational setting. In 2020, around 480 students are enrolled at the College.

St Teresa’s Catholic College
Location: Noosaville
Years: Year 7 to Year 12
About: A commitment to contemporary learning and teaching frameworks, in a Catholic setting.

St Thomas More Catholic Primary
Location: Sunshine Beach
Years: Prep to Year 6
About: A modern co-education Catholic primary school. The parish school is an important and integral part of the ministry of the Noosa District Catholic Parish.

Stella Maris Catholic Primary
Location: Maroochydore
Years: Prep to Year 6
About: Stella Maris aims to be an inclusive, high quality learning community in which faith inspires action.

Suncoast Christian College
Location:
Woombye
Years:
Prep to Year 12; ELC on site
About:
A Christian co-educational College with Pre-Kindy and Kindergarten, with a focus on community and high quality pastoral care.

Sunshine Coast Grammar School
Location: Forest Glen
Years: Prep to 12; ELC on site
About: An independent, co-educational school, set on a beautiful 100-acre site and offering high quality academic, cultural and sporting programs.

The River School
Location: Maleny
Years: Prep to Year 6
About: The River School is part of a global Neohumanist Education movement which teaches love and respect for all humanity as well as all living and non-living beings.

Unity College
Location: Caloundra
Years: Prep to Year 12
About: Unity College is a co-educational, Catholic & Uniting, Prep to Year 12 college owned and administered by Brisbane Catholic Education.

For more information on schools on the Sunshine Coast, head to our School Directory.