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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Personalised Education Now

Big thanks to Josh Gifford and his team for the second edition of P.E.N Journal. The first edition brought together some of the contributions of last years, very successful Alternative Educational Futures conference. We were delighted to be asked to contribute once again. You can download a pdf version of the journal and read our piece looking at the student experience of SML using the link below. Pen Journal 25

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Heart surgery & other operations

Heart surgery & other operations

Our resident maths & physics tutor Lars also ran two very popular dissection workshops with students this term. The first of these involved dissection of a lamb pluck – lungs, liver, and heart, all connected by the oesophagus – providing an excellent opportunity to satisfy some of the student’s natural curiosity about biology. This process introduces students to a vocabulary of appropriate terminology related to anatomy and physiology of a mammal. Drawing comparisons to human physiology, students investigate and recognise the anatomical structures and explain the physiological functions of these body systems. Learning could then extend to recognising and explaining the interrelationships […]

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Self Managed Learning made difficult

Self Managed Learning made difficult

I appreciate that the title may seem a little strange. So many self-help texts are about things “made easy”. What I want to cover here is the fact that it is quite difficult to get people to understand why we are doing Self Managed Learning. The prevailing paradigm is one where assumptions are that young people go to school to learn. The dominant model is one that I want to challenge here and I want to do that through presenting real evidence. I’m a scientist by background and therefore I tend to be interested in evidence rather than prejudiced opinion. […]

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Inspiring day at SML College!

Inspiring day at SML College!

Thank you to everyone who came to our Open Day yesterday. Some of you traveled quite a distance and we really appreciate you taking time to visit. It’s encouraging to meet so many parents / carers & young people who feel that the traditional school setting and one-size-fits-all educational model are no longer fit for purpose and that there has to be a better way. Even more encouraging is that so many of you believe that managing one’s own learning & being part of a democratic community are the way forward.   Special thanks to all our students who helped […]

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October Open Day Invitation

Wednesday 19th October, 2-4pm With the Autumn term now well under way, we’re looking forward to our first Open Day of the season. Our Open Days are very informal, drop-in events where you can meet and chat to some of our current students and parents, as well as tutors and governors. There won’t be any ‘presentations’ and our community members will answer your questions in a totally unscripted way so you can be sure you’ll have some interesting & authentic conversations! If you’ve read our free ebook* and are interested in finding out more about our unique approach to learning, […]

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