Summerhill

a 'free' school

Summerhill School

a 'free' school

Summerhill School

Founded in 1921, and still ahead of its time. Summerhill is a democratic, self-governing school in which the adults and children have equal status. The daily life of the school is governed by the school Meetings, usually held twice a week in which everybody has an equal vote. The school's philosophy is to allow freedom for the individual - each child being able take their own path in life, and following their own interests to develop into the person that they personally feel that they are meant to be. This leads to an inner self-confidence and real acceptance of themselves as individuals. All of this is done within the school's structure of self-government through school meetings which are at the core of the school and emphasise the distinction between freedom and licence. Living life in a community is of great importance to the pupils here. Through this they learn to compromise, communicate, negotiate and assume responsibility. It also teaches them empathy and a consideration for the feelings of others. The adults and children have equal status in the school but, of course, they have very different roles. Everybody in the school is aware of the responsibilities that the adults have and which the children are not subject to. The atmosphere of the school is informal and first names are always used. The school is international, reflecting the extent of A.S. Neill's continuing influence in the world.

Summerhill

Summerhill is a democratic, self-governing school in which the adults and children have equal status. The daily life of the school is governed by the school Meetings, usually held twice a week in which everybody has an equal vote. The school's philosophy is to allow freedom for the individual - each child being able take their own path in life, and following their own interests to develop into the person that they personally feel that they are meant to be. This leads to an inner self-confidence and real acceptance of themselves as individuals. All of this is done within the school's structure of self-government through school meetings which are at the core of the school and emphasise the distinction between freedom and licence. Living life in a community is of great importance to the pupils here. Through this they learn to compromise, communicate, negotiate and assume responsibility. It also teaches them empathy and a consideration for the feelings of others. The adults and children have equal status in the school but, of course, they have very different roles. Everybody in the school is aware of the responsibilities that the adults have and which the children are not subject to. The atmosphere of the school is informal and first names are always used. The school is international, reflecting the extent of A.S. Neill's continuing influence in the world.

Ivo Valkenburg

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