Everyone has a voice and is listened to deeply

Progress is measured by a student’s wellbeing and love of learning.

"If you are home-schooled and are getting bored or if you go to school and completely hate it, I recommend coming here."
Lisa
Aged 10

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 from 7 to 11. 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. 

“You can be completely yourself”
Milo
aged 13
“Everyone has a say in what’s going on and it’s not just the teachers making all the decisions”
Evie
aged 12

In our community everybody matters and everybody has a voice. We believe that empowerment in education begins with having a greater say in how the community is run for both students and teachers. 

We support our students to listen to their own wisest and most compassionate voices and to learn to collaborate together respectfully.

We believe that democracy in education is an important step towards empowering the engaged, heartfelt citizens that this planet needs. Learn more here about democratic education and new paradigms in education. 

We create a space to discuss issues, to encourage free speech, to develop the ability to express your opinion in public and to listen to other points of view before making decisions. Together we discuss and decide on what we will study together and how we interact together as a community.

New ideas are often trialed to understand better the impact and implications they may have, and then tweaked to fit.

Students follow their own interests in our ‘students decide’ sessions. In Creative Writing they are introduced to new ideas/techniques and encouraged and supported to write about whatever is currently inspiring them. Creative Arts gives plenty of opportunity for students to develop their own interests. More about self-directed learning here

Students decide together which cross-subject topic they will study each term. They decide on the books they read in Literature and the current affairs they discuss in Critical Thinking.

Our teachers offer homework and ideas for further study. These are not compulsory, although teachers are very happy to receive assignments and give feedback. Families can discuss with the teachers and decide together what their approach to homework will be. 

Our ‘students decide’ sessions are an opportunity for students to study something different. Students receive a budget and are supported to decide together what they want to study and, if necessary,  to find qualified, experienced people to work with them. 

Yoga and mindfulness are integrated into the curriculum to support wellbeing. Students and teachers practise together to find calmness inside and deepen self-awareness.

Daily yoga is a fun way for students to develop a variety of important skills in a nurturing, non-competitive environment. Our teachers offer unconditional positive encouragement. Students can relax and have fun whilst developing strength, coordination, flexibility as well as increasing their body awareness and self-esteem. And, yes, it’s fine if you want to switch your camera off! 

Learn more about the benefits of yoga for children here. 

We usually start the day with a short meditation. Our teachers bring their own creativity and inspiration to the meditations instead of following set practises. Examples include guided visualisations, body scans, chocolate tasting meditation, eating a segment of orange mindfully and many more. Learn more about mindfulness for children here

We use a few chimes of the bell at moments throughout the day as a way of coming home to ourselves. Taking a few deep breaths can be all we need to feel refreshed and renewed. Learn more here. 

Once a month students and teachers are invited to put their names forward for the Gratitude Gift. We pick a name out of a hat and the chosen person gets £20. This can be spent in any way they like to thank someone special outside of their immediate family/peers. The only rule is that they must then share the story of what they gave, to whom they gave it and how the gift was received. 

*Our meditation and yoga practice are non-religious. The aim is for each student to connect with their own thoughts, feelings and imagination, learning how to reach their own conclusions and to think independently. 

“I like it because the day starts off with relaxing, starts off with peace”
Adam
aged 8
“I try to be the mentor I wish I’d had”
Anil
Teacher

Students are offered regular 1-to-1 tutorials with their personal mentor. Students choose which of the teachers they would like as their mentor, who then sets aside time to meet individually.

We believe it’s really important for young people to be listened to deeply and known. Having a caring, supportive adult as an ally helps our students to grow into their potential during their time with us.

These are held at the end of each term. Families get the chance to speak to each of the individual teachers about how the student is getting along. 

These are held regularly during the  year. They are an opportunity for our students and their families to all get together with the teachers to discuss how things are going.

A combination of topic-based, cross-subject learning and single subject learning.

Topic-based

The cross-subject topic is decided on together, democratically. Once we agree on a topic, the curriculum is then planned by all the teachers together and taught as a whole.

Inter-disciplinary

By making connections between the theoretical and the practical, between one subject and another, learning becomes useful, inspiring and relevant.

Collaborative teaching

Collaboration is at the heart of the curriculum creation, with input from each subject-specialist teacher to create an interconnected whole.

Single-subjects

We study single subjects such as Maths to make sure our students cover everything they need to prepare them for future exams.

Interconnected

Each teacher is aware of what the others are doing and every effort is made to connect the learning in one class to that of another. This approach is very rewarding and worthwhile for the teachers too.

Creative

The teachers themselves broaden and deepen their understanding by linking their subject to that of others and the excitement of learning is spread all around the community.

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe"
John Muir
Environmental Philosopher

find out more

Come and join one of our online open days

keep in touch

If you’d like us to let you know about new projects/ideas/developments, you can sign up for our newsletter here.