Methods of Learning

  • The school will be based on a ‘village’ of up to ten yurts, providing a community of about 20 people of all ages. They will need to know one another and learn community skills first.
  • The village will include access to communal cooking and living areas, small fields for chickens, sheep, goats, cows and horses, workshops for working with wood, metals, textiles, clay and leather etc, vegetable garden, tree nursery and walking access to the wider farm.
  • The emphasis is on learning to learn, rather than being taught. Learning to identify a question and to find or develop suitable answers. There will be a minimum of didactic teaching.
  • There will be no fixed curriculum, but the activities will be heavily influenced by the seasons of the year and the weather on the day. The natural cycle is the guide to all activities.
  • There will be a number of long and short term projects both big and small. The first priority is to provide food and shelter on a daily basis for everyone, which can entail growing something up to 50 years ahead in the case of timber trees, a year ahead in the case of a sheep, or some months ahead in the case of vegetables. Once immediate needs are met, other projects can be done which include many aspects of managing the environment.
  • There will be visiting teachers to provide tuition on specific skills such as black-smithing, pottery, building construction, forestry, horse and livestock management, vegetable gardening and falconry. Some teachers will be paid, some will be volunteers. This will enable specific existing organisations, such as Falconry Clubs, equestrian groups and so on to book 1-4 week slots throughout the year at the appropriate season. Some can bring their own tutors. Different courses or projects can overlap, so that there is opportunity to meet people with other interests.
  • Other groups will be invited on a day or short-term basis, such as visits from the Wildlife Trusts, Young Farmers and so on, to provide different perspectives and exchange of knowledge and contacts.
  • There will be a limited but steady number of places for disabled people, including veterans in the Help for Heroes programme, to take an active part as far as is possible, with able-bodied people making the necessary adjustments and teamwork to carry them along. Many of the activities will not be suitable for urban aids such as wheel chairs. Those people will need help to undertake activities such as going down the woods badger-watching at night, swimming in the lake, riding horses, preparing meals etc. Many of the facilities and tracks are being specifically designed for use by disabled people.
  • We intend that some of the visiting tutors will be retired or older people who may need special caring provisions to enable them to come for a couple of hours or so.
  • Everyone, on leaving, will be able to identify something that they have personally contributed in some shape of form to the general good of the charity.
  • Some of the tutors will be animals, especially dogs, birds of prey and horses.

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