Whole school photo - 2015b

Welcome to Sands School

A Democratic School for 11 to 17 year-olds

Our school is so different from the mainstream that it is hard know where to start!

It looks different – there is no uniform or even a dress-code for students.

It sounds different – there are no clanging bells or unnatural quietness.

But mainly it feels different – there is no “us and them” division between staff and students

This all stems from Sands being a democratic school: students and staff run the school and make decisions together in a spirit of equality and mutual respect. There is no head teacher, no one is called ‘sir’ or ‘miss’, a student chairs the School Meeting and the student council sorts out the day-to-day niggles of school life. Listening to what our students say has shaped how we learn and live together by:
Allowing students to go at their own pace in the classroom;
Keeping class sizes small;
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;
Valuing the students as physical and emotional beings not just as exam candidates;
Good food and eating together as a central part of the day.
As you browse through the website we hope you will see how listening to students and trying to create a happy learning environment has led to a successful alternative to conventional schooling. Or you can get a feel for what life at Sands is really like by having a look at this SHORT FILM made by one of our recent students, Rosa. And if you think that Sands might be the right school for you – COME AND VISIT US!


We hope you enjoy your time on this website.  If you have any questions, please contact us.