A few words from stained-glass artist & College Programmes Coordinator, David Lilly

A few words from stained-glass artist & College Programmes Coordinator, David Lilly

I only wish SML had been around when I was at school…. Those were my first thoughts after I had read the job advert and watched the YouTube video. Being colour-blind I had been told in no uncertain terms that pursuing a career in the arts was a complete waste of time for me. Even though I loved (and still do) making ‘stuff’ and drawing and painting abstracts in oils I was not going to become at artist – according to my school. So, many, many years later (and with some glee) I defied my teachers and became a stained-glass […]

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Published in the newspaper this week

Published in the newspaper this week

I’m glad that your correspondent Pauline Hunter (Japan can teach us a lesson, i, 22 June) is in favour of school children cleaning their classrooms. Our students do that and more. Every day they vacuum all areas, dust, mop the floors in the toilets, wash up in the kitchen and so on. They do this because we have a joint resources committee of students and adults that decides on finances for the building. The students understood that cleaning would cost money so they agreed to do it provided that money saved was then available for extra learning resources and for […]

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Learning without classrooms

Learning without classrooms

200 people gathered at the Freedom to Learn conference at Summerhill School on 6th, 7th and 8th of May. I ran a workshop on different ways of learning particularly focused on learning without using classrooms. I generally find when talking with many people about learning that they have a bit of a blank in thinking of alternative ways of learning which don’t require the classroom. Somehow an approach which doesn’t need any classrooms can seem aberrant. The reality is that the classroom is a rather odd alternative that has been relatively recently created in human history. For most of the […]

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Shakespeare would have been proud

On the evening of 27 April, a full house was treated to the SML College production of Romeo and Juliet.   Looking at the programme, all of the students of the College were involved in some way, and,  It was evident that a lot of work had gone into bringing the play to the audience. In many ways, it was a typical production, with several last-minute substitutions and understudies being vaulted onto the stage at short notice. In other ways, this was not your typical Romeo & Juliet, a play that is known for being a tragedy.  However, Shakespeare was also […]

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The SML College Production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

The SML College Production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Review by Lee Turnbull Arrival of the parents was the most terrifying part of the whole production, student excitement turned to anxiety within the first five seconds of everyone assembling. Our production was chaos turned to comedy, Monty Python would have been proud. Notable performances as follows: Everyone forgetting lines and putting their own words in, students mixing up their scenes and arriving early or late. A useless prompt who couldn’t help me ( Benvolio) resulting in my having to run backstage to get my script! Ochre as Juliet on her knees to Mayan (Lord Capulet) begging forgiveness, lost her […]

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Spring term review by SML College student, Ro Frederick

Spring term review by SML College student, Ro Frederick

This term has been very busy for us and lots of interesting things have happened over the last few weeks.   At the beginning of term James held a rhetoric speech workshop where we learnt about how to use different types of language features and we wrote our own speeches. Taanu’s speech on donating organs was even read out at the opening ceremony.   Over the spring term we did a lot of baking. We made multiple batches of cookies and Lars taught us all how to make bread. From this we learnt about organisms and what makes a living […]

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Rhetoric workshop speech by student Taanu Donne, aged 15

Rhetoric workshop speech by student Taanu Donne, aged 15

How do you feel about organ donation? Kidneys. Lungs. A heart. Vital organs that we would be dead without. Many are needed, but few are donated. At this moment in the UK, 6.5 thousand people are waiting for an organ. 6.5 thousand people who are inevitably going to die without a transplant. 6.5 thousand people whose lives could b saved – by your actions. How does it feel to know that, when you pass on, have ceased to be, have kicked the bucket, you could save 8 other lives? To know that a family member or a  close friend is […]

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Launch of Afternoon Programme at SML College

Launch of Afternoon Programme at SML College

After 16 years of great success with our Self Managed Leaning morning programme, we are now launching an afternoon programme which with our first round of admissions in September 2018. Research has shown conclusively that young people tend to have a body clock that is more conducive to afternoon activity. Academics have studied schools that start late in the morning and finish later; they claim that this not only produces better relationships in school but has also improved exam results. Our afternoon programme will run from 1.30 to 4.30pm and this may suit many young people, but this is just one […]

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My internship at SML College

by Hannah Laura Bernard, our colleague from Germany who spent time with us earlier this term   In the context of my bachelor in pedagogy and educational science, I made a five-week-long internship at SML College this autumn. I wanted to know what school might look like when there is no curriculum, no classroom structure and no one who tells students what to do. Even though five weeks is a very short time, I gained various insights into operations at the College. I took part in the community meetings, got involved in the work with the learning groups, participated in the […]

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Why do swastika drawings upset people?

Why do swastika drawings upset people?

A workshop at SML College about symbolism and the ideology of national socialism run by German intern, Laura Bernard.   One morning at SML College, just before our community meeting, one of the older students began drawing swastikas on a flip-chart. Although it was most likely intended to be a provocative joke, myself and the other adults in the community, immediately agreed that using this symbol in any way is completely unacceptable. Although, we clarified that this was a real no-go, I  still felt the need to pursue a deeper discussion on the subject. It seemed that most of the […]

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