testimonials

What do our students and families say about us?

"Overall: Absolutely thrilled. The Friday session has completely exceed our expectations. Why: Incredible teachers, who really know and support the kids and make them feel equally respected. The kids are left with the impression that the teachers want to be there as much as them! That they absolutely love their job. Fantastic diverse choice of topics, that are truly chosen in a democratic way. Great mix of practical and debate.
Parent
"People are kind, everything’s democratic, so we have a say, and it’s non-competitive. People help you out when you don’t understand something. "
Student
"I just wanted to start by thanking you and all the teachers at the Learning Circle for parents' evening. The trauma of Julia's previous schooling and the interactions with teachers there still affects me deeply, so it was incredibly uplifting to hear the teachers' input which was caring, enthusiastic and supportive. It feels like the first time that people outside of her immediate family have been able to see Julia for the wonderful girl that she is, and have been able to celebrate her achievements with us. "
Parent
"I like the freedom it gives me to learn what I want. "
Student
"It’s an amazing way to learn and Austin is really enjoying it. I think with all the uncertainty of schools… many more will look for alternative learning.  Thank you for all that you do. The teachers you have found are brilliant."
Parent
"I really enjoy it because you can express the way you feel "
Student
"The children are treated kindly and with respect, their individual needs are met well and teachers are very creative in engaging them in learning. All teachers take a great interest in the development of the children and have lots of time for their ideas. "
Parent
"Kind, gentle, child-led approach. That everyone and their views are respected. Celebration of diversity - rather than merely tolerance. Not caught up in unnecessary, unhelpful and narrow expectations and rules which are a feature of most education institutions. It's a happy, relaxed place where the kids want to come.... and supports a genuine desire for learning."
Parent
"I feel like I've been accepted as family."
Student
" I think the children feel respected and valued and comfortable with expressing themselves, its so refreshing. I think the teaching, the topics, the meditation and yoga are just the right mix it's really inspiring and I feel it sets the children up for a very bright future."
Parent
"The days I do school are the best days of the week, even including the weekends!"
Student
"It’s nice to see Tarn enjoying school and getting his confidence and buzz for learning back."
Parent
"The staff and students are kind and helpful; it’s great we are not told off if we don’t do something"
Student
"Why did we choose Fridays: Emma has been home educated for nearly 3 years. She never disliked school, but her elder siblings were home educated and she wanted to try it. She is a very independent learner and moves on quickly in some topics and slower in others. What was missing though was what the Fridays bring. I can only describe Fridays as the flow of life! Almost non scripted subjects that organically evolve! A bit airy - sorry. But it’s true. The book choice leads to great discussions (this time about WWII), Jo brings math learning into real life situations (accompanied I believe by the occasional farm animal!) and the afternoons allow the kids to explore so many topics - yes wellbeing (amazing), but also practical like the cooking (which brought in leadership and presentation skills), looking at different cultures, attitudes - mortgages!! I think that Humanities/Students Decide might do a similar thing - but it seems to me that the Friday is a more lighthearted (life hack!) version - a perfect end of the week!"
Parent
All the while the kids are slowly growing solid, respectful connections with each other and the teachers. That is what was missing from our home ed. The reliability of meeting with the same group every week. Building that community, more than friends, they are co-learners/colleagues. It is not what I think Emma was missing coming out of a school environment - because I feel that this interaction is often forced/lip service in schools - but it has greatly enhanced her learning experience out of school. It is more than ’social’. It is different to developing friendships (home ed kids have friends as you know!) it is the opportunity to learn in a regular group, finding a wide range of subjects, and slowing building solid connections. We would consider our approach to home-ed as ’semi-structured’ and I think that the Fridays would appeal to so many like us, and probably the ‘unschooled’ approach too, well everyone really!
Parent

Here is a short report by the BBC on our in-person Hebden Bridge Learning Community.

New school in Hebden Bridge to teach children using yoga and meditation

 

West Yorkshire community known for creative flair to open school with no headteacher in attempt to be ‘truly progressive’.

This article was published by The Guardian in 2015 about our in-person learning community. 

* The Learning Circle is a new sister project that was born when our Learning Community in Hebden Bridge went online due to Covid-19. A few quotes and photos on the website are taken from our Learning Community in Hebden Bridge. We’ll update these as soon as we can. 

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