School and our time in the education system is undoubtedly the crucial point in all of our lives. Not only does it supply us with all of the necessary talents and knowledge for our adult lives, but school is responsible for helping us acquire most of the social skills we use every single day. Because of the absolute importance the school system has in the modern world, we are seeing more and more new and original approaches to teaching across the globe.
Sands School in County Devon is a school like none other. Built into the core values of the school is the fundamental belief of pupils being more than seats in an exam hall, they are the vital cogs in a healthy and successful system. Everything the school does on a day to day basis revolves around this belief, with students playing an active role in shaping their own learning through councils and discussions.
“At the very heart of our model of learning is the child, each unique and each with different needs. Learning is a very different experience for each child – even within the same classroom, and more fundamentally, for some, conventional classroom based study doesn’t suit them at all and they need a different and tailored timetable.”
Quote from the Sands School Website
By simply acknowledging the reality that every student is an individual and requires different learning methods, Sands School has boasted some realities that so many schools strive for decades to achieve. Ranked ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ in every department by Ofsted reports, Sands’ arguably biggest achievement is the mentality of their students; recorded as being one of the happiest and most productive groups found anywhere in the country, it’s clear this way of teaching is rubbing off in the right ways on the pupils.
At Sands, there are no bells signalling the end of lessons, no school uniforms, there isn’t even a staunch routine that a student has to stick to. Students are actively encouraged to question and comment on anything and everything they find, which in reality is the best prep anyone can have for the adult lives they’re about to live.
With sister schools well established in the USA, Europe, Australia and Israel, it’s clear to see that Sands’ way of teaching is catching on around the world and is quickly becoming more and more prevalent in every school. It’s hard to overstate just how many benefits there are for teachers and students such a way of teaching offers, we can only hope that it’s rising popularity and increased presence in schools brings out such benefits naturally.