learn more about us

Here you will find lots of answers to your questions.

FAQs

Hopefully you will find the answers to your questions here, if not, please do get in touch. 

We offer full days of learning because experience has taught us that children really value the community that is built around spending a whole day together. So, we don’t offer part-days or single classes. 

Yes, absolutely. We decide together which group will be the best fit for the student and for the community. We have children that join before the age of 7 because they feel ready to. We also have children who move up from the younger group to the older group before they turn 10 or who take their time and move up later. We can also facilitate a transition period where students attend some classes with the younger group and some with the older. 

We do not carry out formal assessments. Detailed individual reports are sent at the end of each term. These reflect on the student’s learning journey in a way which is concurrent with the student’s own objectives. 

Students create a portfolio of their work online which they can take with them when they leave the community.  

We use a secure, password protected, online learning platform. We only allow our students to access the classrooms. We also have a robust behaviour policy which can be viewed here. 

We’re very much open to the possibility of teaching GCSEs from September 2021 onwards. We’ll listen to the needs of our students and their families and decide that together.

If you’d like us to let you know about new projects such as GCSE groups, you can sign up for our email newsletter here. 

Absolutely not. The teachers are available face-to-face on screen for 100% of the day. However, students spend a lot of time drawing, writing, reading, painting and creating. All of this can be done off screen. We welcome handwritten assignments which can be photographed and sent to the teachers. 

Not if they really don’t want to. However, communication between teachers and students works much better with cameras on. These kind of decisions about learning together are discussed and agreed on democratically. 

All of our teachers are experienced at preparing students for GCSEs (UK exams taken at 16yrs) or the international equivalent and ensure that the learning will be a good preparation for future success. We will teach GCSEs in the future if that is what our community wants. 

Students can choose the number of days a week that they attend. So, they generally are happy to engage on the days they spend with us and look forward to them. We believe that students engage more fully with learning when they themselves chose to engage with it. Our baseline around student engagement is that ‘no student should interfere with another’s learning’. 

Each teacher will provide homework and suggestions for further study. These can be tailored to each student’s individual needs and interests. All homework is optional. If needed, an agreement about homework can be drawn up between the student, their mentor and the student’s family.

Our learning management system makes it easy for students and parents to see what homework has been given along with resources for further study. 

Students need a medium/good level of English to be able to participate fully in the community. If English is a second language, learning with us will enable student’s English speaking, reading and writing skills to develop fully.  

Special educational needs are addressed by all the staff in the Learning Circle. As we have small classes and a very student-centred approach to each child, there is no clear distinction between students with special needs who get extra support and everyone else; there is a gradual transition.

Since yoga and meditation are an intrinsic part of the Learning Circle day the students learn how to become aware of their own barriers to learning and with the help of their teachers they can surmount them. With this the children will acquire a powerful and wonderful tool for understanding their needs and challenges while helping them to maintain a rich receptivity to learning.

Likewise, in different subjects and on different days students will need varying amounts of extra support and, as far as possible, the staff tries to provide that support both in and out of class.

Please contact us to discuss your child’s individual needs.

An A4 printer (black and white is fine). Pens, pencils, plain and lined paper, paints, eraser, pencil sharpener, rule, a yoga mat is helpful but not essential. Students that study Literature, will also need to buy the book that is chosen together.  

Students can be provided with a certificate of studies at the end of their time with us. 

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people, like all young people, are more likely to feel safe, happy and fulfil their potential if they:

• Feel able to be themselves and valued for who they are

• Feel included and part of the school community

• Have access to resources and information relevant to them

• Feel they have people to talk to and know how to access support services

We actively support our LGBTQ+ students by creating an inclusive, understanding atmosphere. Teachers are approachable and friendly and make time to talk to students.

The Learning Circle is run by the Mindful Learning Project which is registered with Ofsted as a childcare provider. 

Please see below for more about us and our history.

Hebden Bridge learning community

We founded this small, democratic learning community in West Yorkshire, UK in 2016 and it continues to thrive. HBLC combines student choice, mindfulness, small groups, great teachers and topic-based learning. In 2020 we took our community online during the Covid-19 pandemic and we were amazed by how well it worked! Our students asked us to continue facilitating online learning as an option and so The Learning Circle was born. 

*The Learning Circle is a new project and so some of the quotes used on this website are from our learning community in Hebden Bridge. We’ll update them as soon as we can. 

founders

Meet anil & zoe

Anil and Zoe founded Hebden Bridge Learning Community in 2016 out of a shared love for learning, teaching, children, nature, yoga and meditation.

Anil has previously been a Spanish and Italian teacher, yoga and meditation instructor and shiatsu therapist. He has been involved in international educational projects for more than 20 years and has launched and directed two languages schools in Spain and in the UK. He speaks five languages and is the father of two grown-up children.

Zoe has previously been Principal of a College that teaches alternative therapy. She has worked internationally as an alternative therapist, ran women groups, speaks 3 languages and is the mother of a beautiful young boy. 

our purpose

We understand TLC to be a living system. We listen to where is needs to go and help it to do it’s work in the world. TLC has a purpose which will evolve over time. This is our purpose at the present moment:

To make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of society and the planet by enabling children to: 

  • be active learners
  • have a sense of agency and responsibility.
  • be comfortable in their bodies.
  • be collaborative. 
  • be connected with their inner resources. 
  • be connected with the world and have an understanding of Interbeing.

Interbeing means to inter-dependently co-exist. The meaning of interbeing recognises the dependence of any one person or thing on all other people and objects.

Not only is no person an island, but rather our Interbeing is shared with all living things.
Interbeing is non-separation from the plants and animals we eat, the insects that pollinate the trees that yield our fruit, and the trees that shade us from the sun and provide timber for our homes. Interbeing is the people who make our clothes and food, the people who live with us in towns, in our countries and all of this extraordinary planet we call home.

* subject to change as we all grow together

find out more

Come along to an online open day

keep in touch

If you’d like us to keep you up-to-date about any new projects we launch, such as groups for older children or dates for our Summer Camp, you can sign up for our newsletter.