Twenty-one years ago, Snowy Mountains Grammar School set out to offer a diverse range of opportunities, leading to the development of outstanding citizens equipped for an ever-changing world.

Fast forward to 2017 and the school’s founders’ vision has become a reality. We have, indeed, prepared our students for current and future global communities where emerging 21st century skills and thinking are essential to thrive.

The combination of our delivery of a high quality formal education involving the traditional core subjects, with innovative elective learning programs (such as our 2016 Innovative Schools award recipient program, the Academies of Excellence, introduced in 2016), and amazing opportunities in the outdoor environment, have led to SMGS winning three 2017 Innovative Schools awards, announced today by The Educator magazine.

SMGS was selected as one of forty schools across Australia leading the way in efforts to best prepare students for tomorrow’s world.

The three SMGS programs that claimed an Innovative Schools Award are:

  • Let’s Explore Program: Let’s Explore is a free five-week transitional program, designed to guide pre-school children through the mysterious ‘unknown land’ of school. It explores the normal routines of a school day and looks at individual child readiness. The program is designed to assist each child prepare for their very special ‘first day’ of school and aims to leave each child feeling more comfortable and confident about this new chapter in their lives.


  • Aviation Program: The school’s aviation program, which currently has sixteen students enrolled, has seen a number of past students go on to become commercial pilots. In addition to that success, the program provides students with a real-world introduction without the need for prescriptive outcomes, directive syllabuses and timetabled classes. It provides a creative opportunity to better prepare students for adult life, requiring the development of competencies such as self-discipline, superior organisational skills and a compliant and conforming attitude.


  • Elite Snowsports Academy (ESA): The ESA program provides academic, pastoral and logistical support to its snowsports athletes who are at levels 2, 3 and 4 in the pre-elite category of the Ski and Snowboard Australia (SSA) Athlete Pathway Framework. Because of the school’s personalised learning approach and online learning management system, ESA athletes can participate in full-time on-snow training programs at Perisher and Thredbo ski resorts, while attending a majority of normal timetabled classroom lessons. This means that students can fulfil their athletic dreams without sacrificing their academic pathway.

Acting Principal, Mrs Kelli Wilson, was proud of SMGS staff for their commitment and determination in making these programs possible, saying, “I am thrilled that Snowy Mountains Grammar School has again been the recipient of the prestigious Innovative Schools award. It is a wonderful award, that recognises the hard work, passion and expertise of our staff, who continue to extend themselves to provide innovative and unique programs for our students. The focus is always on how do we best provide for our students. Every decision is about improving student opportunities and learning as we look towards creating 21st century leaders.”

The SMGS community is honoured to receive a 2017 Innovative Schools Award for three of its programs and SMGS Chairman, Mr Michael Jones, echoed this sentiment, saying, “To receive this award for the second year in a row is a testament to our preparedness and courage to go beyond what can be seen and to invest in a child’s greater horizons. Each of our programs has been built with care and support for each student (as an individual, and as part of the school community) by teachers for whom each child (and their needs) is personally known. Whilst SMGS is smaller than many larger and more highly competitive schools, the Board of Snowy Mountains Grammar School is proud of the school’s commitment to providing innovative programs and its continued work to establish SMGS as a school of choice in our region and around Australia”.

To learn more about the 2017 Innovative Schools Awards, click here.