Sands School – The Alternative Face of Education
To get a feel for what life at Sands is really like, have a look at this SHORT FILM made by one of recent students, Rosa.
Sands is one of very few schools within the British education system that has such a high level of input from its students, and as such its values reflect a spirit of co-operation and mutual respect between people of all ages.Lessons are not compulsory but having a serious approach to learning, in the broadest sense, is a necessary prerequisite of being offered a place. Everyone is expected to clean the school on a daily basis and common sense ideas drive the underlying philosophy, for example, if you eat school lunch you help wash up: if you break something you repair or pay for its repair. There is no uniform, everyone is on first name terms, discussion takes the place of petty punishments like detention, but there is still room for serious consequences if rules are broken.The school continues to evolve but, interestingly, many of the things that we do naturally have been recognised by successive governments as prerequisites of good education, for example:
- Allowing children to go at their own pace in the classroom;
- Allowing students to sit exams when they, as individuals, are ready;
- Re-introducing practical life skills in the school day such as cooking, debating, cleaning and building;
- Encouraging children to be aware of their role as ‘citizens’ within society;
- Helping children design their own learning programmes;
- Valuing the child as physical and emotional beings not just as exam candidates;
- Keeping class sizes small;
- Good food and eating together as a central part of the day.
As you read through the website we hope you will see how listening to children and trying to create a happy learning environment has led to a successful alternative to conventional schooling which has embraced in its 25 years much that ‘educators’ would dearly love to see in all schools in the 21st century.
We hope you enjoy your time on this website. If you have any questions, please contact us.