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Welcome to Compass...

The proposed Compass Catholic Community is planned to open at Davoren Park in January 2022.

Compass is a brand new, fee-free, co-educational Special Assistance School for young people aged 17 to 24.

The school will be a part of CESA’s new education and community services ‘village’ for the young people in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, who may have faced barriers to living a life that is meaningful to them; who are experiencing social, emotional, or behavioural difficulties which have become obstacles to their attendance and completion of mainstream schooling.

Compass will work to increase student agency, so that individuals know that they can act, not just be acted upon, who know how to, and that they can, make an investment in achieving their goals, towards living a life that is meaningful to them. 

This focus will improve educational and other life outcomes for young people, and will be achieved by adopting teaching and learning approaches different to mainstream school environments - centred on individualised, flexible, and highly supported co-constructed learning opportunities, that are based on student interests.

Our learning community will be built on the complete belief that all people can learn and be successful with the right tools, environment, and resources, and we will work to ensure that a person’s socioeconomic status, environment and personal circumstances stop being a significant determinate of their educational outcomes.

Compass is a place where everyone belongs, a place where everyone can start, a place from which adventures will occur, and people can return.

Call us on (08) 8288 4900 or email us if you would like to enquire or have any questions about Compass. The Q&A below might also answer any questions you may have.

About Compass Catholic Community...

Compass Catholic Community will open Monday of Week 1, Term 1, 2022 (31st of January 2022).

Compass is for young people who are aged between 17 and 24, have disengaged from schooling and from employment, and are wanting to move back into education.  More than that it is for people who live in the Northern suburbs of Adelaide who are looking for tools to further their journey, towards living a life that is meaningful for them.

Compass is a fee-free school. We invest in you, so you can invest in you.

A compass is an essential tool for any journey. It gives us valuable information, but doesn’t tell us where to go, or even how to get there. But once we know where we want to go, it points the way – without judgement. There is no ‘one direction’, no one pathway. The Compass helps each individual with where they want to go, on their own meaningful journey.

A compass brings to mind position, and maps, and plotting travel, and plans. A direction, a future, that you can design. And that you can start again, at any stage. It also implies a starting point. A compass is used from where you are, to look forwards, where you want to go. 

In terms of latitude and longitude, Compass Catholic Community will be at 34°41'09"S 138°40'22"E – a place where everyone belongs, a place where everyone can start, a place from which adventures will occur, and a place that you can always come back to.

The focus is on you, and where you want to go. 

When you start, we will introduce you to a Learning Facilitator (teacher) who will be your ‘person’. They will work with you to move on your journey – with short, medium and long term goals. So no subjects, no bells, no uniforms. But lots of projects, workshops, that you co-design around your interests, passions and goals. There will also be some Common Core focuses to build into your journey.

Your Learning Facilitator will work with you to ensure that your journey with Compass includes achieving your SACE. This can be done in stacks of different ways, all based around what you are interested in.

We offer an on-site creche for any pre-kindy aged kiddos that our students have care of. 

Your little person can be with our Early Years Lead and the team, in our purpose built space, safe and cared for, while you focus on your education. This is also available at no cost to students.

We will be a secondary school, offering Stage 1 and Stage 2 SACE, some VET courses, and a focus on building the capabilities and capacities that we all need to live a life that is meaningful to us.

Once you are enrolled we can help you with the relevant forms.

It is pretty exciting, right!? We will be open for enrolments from around Term 3, 2021, and will open as a school in Week 1, Term 1, 2022. 

Students can also join as the year rolls along in 2022, so no need to wait til the next year, or the next semester.  

Why not sign up to our mailing list below to stay in touch with all that is happening at Compass?

It goes for as long as you need it to – as long as you are still in the age range of 17 to 24.  

You will need to be participating and attending, but there is no fixed amount of time that you have to complete in. With your Learning Facilitator, you will plan out your journey and make adjustments along the way.

We get it. It can be intimidating to think about heading back to school when you haven’t been to one for a long time. 

But Compass is designed specifically with you in mind. 

We can’t wait to meet you, talk about your concerns, and start to work together to plan what your journey is going to look like. We have heaps of supports in place for your wellbeing, including social workers that we call Learning Supporters, on site, to help you as you journey with us.


We would love to talk to you about how we can help you get where you want to go.

It would be our privilege to be a part of your journey. Our whole program is designed for people just like you – to explore and consider what they might be interested in, find out new things about themselves, discover new talents and abilities, and build on ones they may not have used for a while. The Learning Facilitators are specifically there to help design an educational journey that is for you.

The answer to this will be unique to each student. 

But we have a strong focus on ‘agency’ – which is the idea that you have control and can make choices about your life, not just have life happen to you all the time. This is really what we want to work with you at Compass to help you develop. So you will learn heaps of stuff that you are interested in – music, art, writing, tech skills, cooking, add your own interest in here! – and while you are doing that, you will also be developing capabilities like innovation, compassion, self-awareness and collaboration. These capabilities will help you develop your agency, and move forward in living a life that is meaningful to you.

The actual focus on each day will depend on what you are working on. 

But each day will start with a shared, free breakfast in the Kitchen Hub – a chance to come and fill your tum, but also focus in for the day. We will the move into projects, workshops and individual time, always supported by your Learning Facilitator and the Learning Supporters. You may go out to a partner organisation for an experience, or an activity, or we may have someone come in to speak to the broader group.

No uniforms here. 
Wear what you feel comfortable in, so that you can focus on what matters to you.

We are sorry to hear that. But we get it.

Compass is deliberately set up for students who have not thrived in mainstream schooling for lots of reason, and so we are as flexible as we can be. The program is around what you need and want, so we can co-design something that will work for where you are right now. We have relationships with counsellors and other health people who can provide services. We have onsite showers and washing machines if that is something that would help. We have lockers that you can store some gear in. We have computers that you can use for your school work. And all our staff are there to support you on your journey. 

We believe in you, and can’t wait to cheer you on!

The whole school is new and built for our community. But we will need help set it up and kitting it out – the first lot of students will play a crucial role in helping us set up spaces like the Music and Recording Studios and the Makers Space.

Yep, that’s right. However we are here for people from all backgrounds, of all faiths or even no faith.

Our Catholic values lead us to express ourselves in service – and Compass is all about that. We are a place that values individuals, and their journey – you won’t get any judgement here.

Whether you have zero SACE points, or quite a few already, we can help you design a learning journey that includes achieving your SACE.

Doing school at Compass won’t earn you an ATAR directly, but if Uni is what you are aiming for, there are lots of pathways available that we can help you explore.

We LOVE partnerships at Compass. We are all about them.  We would love to speak with you and your team about how we can be of assistance to each other and achieve awesome outcomes for the young people of the North.  Please get in touch with us at

Thanks so much for your interest! We would love to talk more. Please get in touch with us at

We are recruiting all through 2021!  Please keep an eye on ‘Positions Vacant’ on the CESA website for roles as they are advertised. 

Register your Interest

Thinking of joining us at Compass Catholic Community? Interested to see what is going on and how things are developing?

Register your interest to stay up-to-date with important dates, events and information. 

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“I am honoured to lead Compass Catholic Community and look forward to  working with the people of the northern suburbs. There are stories of success, loyalty, authenticity, enormous resilience and encouragement woven into the everyday lives of this community. When this community bands together, incredible things happen. Working with young adults is always inspiring because of their unique perspectives and to be a part of an individual’s journey is a privilege.”

Kelly Bunyon, Principal - Compass Catholic Community