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 […]

Read more »

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

Read more »
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 […]

Read more »

An exciting new role at SML College – College Programmes Coordinator

A key new coordinating role is available at Self Managed Learning College (SML College), to assist in taking our work forward. SML College is unique in supporting young people to manage their own learning. Our students decide for themselves what, how, why, where and when they want to learn. Our role as adults in assisting this learning is subtle but crucial. Our democratic style means we don’t have a principal, head teacher, director or anyone controlling the day-to-day operation of SML College – indeed, we don’t have any teachers as such since we don’t have any classrooms.  We now need […]

Read more »
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. […]

Read more »
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 […]

Read more »

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, […]

Read more »

Gaining an Arts award at SML College

At SML College we provide the facility for students to achieve an Arts Award, set up by the Arts Council to provide a route for young people to develop their creative and leadership skills and gain GCSE and AS level equivalent qualifications in the arts.  To achieve their Arts Award, students take on various challenges in an art form of their choice and create a portfolio of work with the support of an Arts Award adviser, who acts as assessor, facilitator and mentor. We provide the facility for our students to gain an Arts Award at Bronze or Silver level. Bronze […]

Read more »
GOING TO THE BIG SCHOOL? Choices in secondary education.

GOING TO THE BIG SCHOOL? Choices in secondary education.

SIZE MATTERS The transition from a small primary school into secondary education is an issue for many parents. There are serious choices to be made for children at this age. We know that many children feel nervous about going into a large, more impersonal school where they do not feel known by teachers. In a typical secondary school a teacher might see over 250 children in a week and cannot get to know all of them really well. In addition the national data show that schools are getting larger year by year. This issue of size is serious. The research […]

Read more »
Charley’s art workshop

Charley’s art workshop

  Last Thursday Charley came into SMLC to give an Art workshop on dreams and nightmares. She started by giving us lots of magazines and scissors. Then she told us what ever picture that looked interesting to us to cut them out and put them on a black background. We could make what ever would be in our dreams or nightmares. I made a picture about evolution. It was about how we came from a fish to animals and a picture of every animal I could find. I was quite happy about how it all came together. I think Charley […]

Read more »