Students connect with their peers in small interactive classes. Each class has up to 14 students. The students are always in the same group and there are plenty of opportunities to make friends and socialise.
Each learning circle has a mix of ages 11 to 14 years. Mixed-age classrooms free students to take pride in their abilities as individuals. The pace of learning is individualised. Teachers tailor learning for each student, rather than setting the pace for the whole group. Students have the chance to be the youngest, the oldest and the in-betweens.
Each class has a common room available during breaks, lunchtime and after the learning day ends. This is a private space for students to enjoy. The ground rules of how the common room is used are agreed on in the democratic meetings.
We use these for pair-work or for working together in small groups. Students really appreciate these spaces and find that it can be easier to speak out here than in a larger group.
Are a safe space where students who are having a disagreement can ask their peers to mediate for them in a supported neutral process. Teachers are often invited along to facilitate. Learn more here.
What better way to cement friendships than a week spent living together democratically? Find out more here.
The students (with support from the teachers) organise regular day trips. These are a lovely opportunity to meet up.