How we learn

We teach according to seven key principles

In practice this means the pupils experience a project-based learning approach in which they work on a problem that is relevant to them, their families, their community, or the global community. Many of these projects focus on diversity and inclusion, or the climate crisis.

Pupils are supported in this project by real life experts in relevant fields: archaeologists, ballerinas, builders, architects, musicians, mathematicians, etc. Through talk and playful learning experiences, they learn about this problem and work towards a final product through a series of feedback loops from peers, teachers and experts, which help them refine and improve their work. The final product could be a text, a performance, a work of art or anything that best represents what they have learnt through the project.

Lessons are ‘low threshold, high ceiling’ meaning everyone can access them and even the highest achievers are challenged. We do not separate pupils by achievement level: instead, everyone accesses the learning and those that need extra help, get additional adult support.

One of the unique features of the school is the focus on play and outdoor learning: we run a play-based curriculum until age 6 and do not formalise like most English schools, as we believe this is not developmentally appropriate, and this approach has led to strong wellbeing and achievement.

Our seven key principles

Exploring problems that matter

We choose problems that matter: to us, to our families, to our community, and to members of the global community. The problems we seek to solve are authentic and important.

Building learning partnerships

We work on our projects in collaborative partnership with peers, children and adults, and experts from within and beyond the community. Our partnerships enhance and deepen our learning.

Learning through talk

We learn best when we work together, talking about our learning and sharing ideas. In our classrooms you will hear lots of productive talk as we explore and debate learning

Learning through purposeful play

We learn through play and enjoy exploratory learning. We practice curiosity and risk taking, play roles and tell stories. Our projects offer playful self-driven learning experiences in a range of settings, but especially outdoors in nature.

Everyone thinks hard

We know that we can all be challenged, think deeply and solve tricky problems if we work together. We can all learn from each other, even if we are achieving at different levels.

Practising our skills

We practise and perfect the skills we need for our projects over time, being persistent and resilient when our practice becomes challenging, asking for, giving and using feedback. We see mistakes as learning opportunities. We believe the learning journey is as important as the outcome.

Producing something beautiful & valuable

We strive to produce beautiful and valuable work which addresses important issues in our proiects. Our products or performances are reworked and redrafted until we are proud of them and ready to use them to trigger learning conversations.