Our History

For over 30 years Essington has delivered unrivalled academic success.

The Essington School opened as a Montessori Preschool in 1989 and was officially opened in September of that year by Margaret Muirhead, the wife of the NT Administrator. The school took its name from the pioneering efforts of the first Northern Territory settlers at Port Essington on the Cobourg Peninsula.

The concept for Essington originated in 1983 when a group of Darwin parents got together with a view to forming a play group for children. The group was to embrace the educational philosophy of Italian educationist, Dr. Maria Montessori. Originally located at the Pan Hellenic Cultural Centre in Nightcliff the school enrolled around seventy students initially. The Essington School moved to its current facilities in late 1991 into what was previously the Rapid Creek Primary School which closed after Cyclone Tracy.

The school operated as Darwin's first private primary school for eight years upon which time the school received formal registration to proceed into secondary schooling in 1997.

In 1998, the new secondary building for the Middle School, the Webb Building, was officially opened by Dr Grahame Webb. The school went from strength to strength, and in 2011 we established the Senior College for Years 10, 11 and 12 at the nearby Charles Darwin University. 

From these humble beginnings we have evolved to become a diverse and vibrant school community with a student cohort spanning from Preschool to Year 12. The importance of parents in the history of the school is what makes us so important to the Darwin community of today. Community members who attended the school as students now have children attending Essington. There are teachers who were once students - carrying on the school culture and spirit of what it means to be part of our Essington family.