Why the sheep?

It’s a pretty picture, of a beautiful place and the sheep evoke a rural idyll. But I have spent my life not being a sheep, (or if I am, I’m a black one) and not following the crowd. And then Will Deresiewicz’s book Excellent Sheep hit a nerve. The prevailing education system in the UK seems focused, through its testing and targets, on creating exactly that: herds of students who will answer a set question, in a set way, for a set mark. This doesn’t only miss the point of education, it’s doing our children and their childhood a disservice.

I believe in creating educational spaces and environments which encourage children to ask questions, always learn and make choices about the ways in which they want to live their lives. 

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Ask

The four year old who asks questions incessantly has the potential to become the 40 year old who discovers how to slow the growth of a cancer. Education has the power to nurture children’s natural curiosity and desire to learn. As educators in the era of rapid technological advance, we have a responsibility to question and challenge accepted educational norms and re-design the ways in which children learn. Read more.

 Learn

I started to prototype my vision for an alternative to mainstream education when I founded a tiny, community school in Tuscany. Poggio d’Oro allowed me to test theory and grapple with the reality of setting up a learning community from scratch. Read more.

Live

One mamma (with a long distance commuting papa), three children and a lot of fig trees. Why I moved my family to Italy for a life-learning experience. Read more.

'the love of, the mastery of - the thing' 
Gerard Manley Hopkins

‘the love of, the mastery of – the thing’
Gerard Manley Hopkins