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Page history last edited by Family School 12 years, 10 months ago


Children at the Family School are given a large degree of freedom and the right to manage their own school day. Indoor and outdoor play, practical activities such as cooking and woodwork, self initiated projects, learning through doing, taking risks and engagement with nature are seen as essential parts of a child's education and a considerable emphasis is also placed on developing effective and respectful relationships with others in a social context without systems of punishment or rewards. Experienced teachers work as a team in the classroom supporting individual children's plans and leading activities for small groups and there is a minimum ratio of 1 adult - 4 children. Our democratic teaching approach is influenced by Carl Rogers, George Dennison, Piaget, John Holt, John Dewey and the Reggio Emelia methods of documentation. Our school characteristics include the following...



  • an informal, child centred, respectful education with highest aspirations
  • children direct their own learning and develop at their own pace and in their own way
  • experienced teachers support individuals' emotional, social and intellectual needs, interests and motivations
  • small mixed age groups and with high adult to child ratio
  • emphasis on learning through doing; free-play, projects, activities and experiences
  • adult led activities with academic, social and practical skills "built in"; cooking, organic gardening, woodwork, arts and crafts, music, storytelling, writers workshop
  • no National Curriculum, no SATS constraints
  • wide choice of resources in the classroom
  • best use of London's resources – museums, galleries, parks, events
  • co-operative and competitive games with physical and mental play
  • clear boundaries, communication and conflict resolution strategies
  • human scale allows real relationships to develop
  • we are inclusive and value our diversity
  • relaxed, nurturing environment, with ecological, collaborative ethos
  • family involvement in school life encouraged
  • no religious affiliation
  • part time, four days a week
  • we are planning to move into a new eco-building on a tree-filled site near Larkhall Rise in Clapham North next year
  • at present, we are in pleasant and spacious temporary premises in Brixton Hill
  • we are a not for profit registered charity with no state funding so reluctantly we are having to charge fees
  • a limited number of bursaries are now available




To strengthen involvement, participation and engagement, every family member will be welcome on the site, and there will be regular school meetings where everyone, children included, will discuss issues important to them and the school.


We are committed to providing a flexible learning environment, adapting to each individual, so that the inquisitive and enthusiastic nature of children is nourished, encouraged and developed to the full, so that learning is part of living.


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