Woodland Path

Reading 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in the woods

Sand

Hunting for fossils at the beach

Hieroglyphics

Learning about ancient cultures in museums and with experts

Our Ethos

Part school - part forest school - part scouting - part scientific research team - part language school - part programmers - part community action group - part wildlife group - part wellbeing retreat - part family day out - part walking group - part explorers ......

100% Pod Micro School

There are many ways that children learn, however we only have one model of schooling in the UK. As a former headteacher, I have taught numerous children and often found that the best learning happened outside of the classroom when learning was given a context with which to expand on a child's knowledge. 

Pod Micro School is an inclusive educator who nurtures each child to achieve their full potential and unlock a world full of adventure and new opportunities.

Following the Pandemic and the rise of Home Learning, we wanted to offer an alternative for children who would benefit from a different way of learning, with an engaging curriculum built on deep learning rather than the National Curriculum, which is often described as being a mile wide but an inch deep.

We pride ourselves on our NEST ethos:

Nurture:

Small classes 

A calm learning environment

A patient teacher who gives lots of support

Inclusive learning for all

Bundles of fresh air

Experience:

We work with local experts and professionals to support learning

Learning experiences that enable children to make links with their knowledge and strengthen learning

We make use of the amazing resources on our doorstep: beaches, woodland, historic villages, Bristol, hills...

Service:

Our learning has a purpose and serves our local community, this motivates children to do their best.

Twenty-first Century Skills:

We focus on the learning that can be pushed out of the curriculum in some schools; science, computing, art, languages and everything in between.

 
Further Reading

 

We are driven by several two key educational texts; 'An Ethic of Excellence' by Ron Berger and the 'The Learning Rainforest' by Tom Sherrington.

An Ethic of Excellence describes the craft of learning and the importance of children understanding what quality looks like and drafting their work until it becomes excellent and ready for some form of public presentation.

The Learning Rainforest talks about learning being built upon solid roots of knowledge which are extended before developing and extending the learning. This can also be described as direct teaching and experiential learning. We can do direct teaching quickly and effectively given our small classes and bespoke learning, this gives a greater opportunity for deep learning derived from rich learning experiences and purposeful problems.

Micro Schools

Micro schools or learning pods are growing in popularity in the United States and are gradually becoming more common in the UK in the wake of the Covid pandemic and parents searching for education alternatives.

In general, micro schools offer small classes and a bespoke curriculum. They allow educators and parents to give their children an educational experience that is more attuned to their interests and how they want their child to develop.

The current UK education system is heavily skewed towards the needs of Ofsted, SATS and the resources of the school. In many ways, schools are trapped in this cycle of constantly proving that they are meeting the guidelines of these organisations, sometimes at the expense of the children in their care. For example, children may miss art lessons because they are having extra maths in order to prepare them for SATS. By moving outside of the school system, we are able to pioneer a new way of learning and education.

Why have a new type of education? Valerie Hannon Video

Is the UK in need of a Micro School Revolution? Article

EEF Report on Interventions that have the greatest impact on learning

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How It Works

School Day

9.30 - 10.00: Arrival and registration

  • Personal learning and feedback

  • Mindfulness activities

  • Retrieval activities

10.00 - 14.00: Core Learning

  • Daily Maths Session

  • Reading Session

  • Project Session

  • Outdoor activity

  • Lunch and snack time built into day

14.00 - 14.30: Pick Up

  • Review of day's learning

  • Extension activities

  • Mindfulness activities

  • Personal Learning and Feedback

Term Dates

We operate on a calendar year basis with our terms mirroring local school dates. We are closed on bank holidays and will be closed on INSET days when we have training, these will be communicated well in advance.

2022

August 5th - August 31st: Summer Holiday

Term 5: 

Monday 5th September 2022 - Friday 21st October 2022 (7 weeks)

Term 6:

Monday 31st October 2022 - Friday 16th December (7 weeks)

2023

Term 1:

Monday 2nd January - Friday 10th February

Term 2: 

Monday 20th January - Friday 31st March

Term 3:

Monday 17th April - Friday 26th May

Term 4:

Monday 5th June - Friday 21st July

In addition to these dates, we may also run Holiday Clubs during school holiday times.

Uniform
We do not have a uniform, although we encourage our children to dress appropriately depending on the activity and/or weather.

All children should have a bag with appropriate items for the day ahead.

Location

We are based in Congresbury, North Somerset.

 

Lunch

Children need to bring their own lunch, snacks and water which can be consumed throughout the day. There will not be a set lunch time due to the varied nature of our days, unless this is required for medical reasons. Please be aware that some foods will not be permitted due to severe allergies.

Behaviour

We have a positive behaviour policy which reinforces good behaviour. The nature of our small classes and the way we learn is also conducive to positive behaviour. 

Children who display persistent unsafe, discriminatory or dangerous behaviours, will be asked to leave, following our behaviour policy.

Resources

We provide all resources needed for learning and costs for any visits. Children will need their own clothing and footwear, lunch and may also want their own pencil case. This should all be brought in a backpack.

SEND

As an inclusive school, we will teach all children according to their needs using strategies developed during our teaching careers. Our small classes and home from home environment mean we can really support your child effectively. We will be able to signpost parents for further support and advice, if needed.

Safety

All adults working directly with children will be subject to safeguarding checks. A paediatric first aider will be available at all times. All activities will be appropriately risk assessed.

Ratios

At the most, we will operate on a ratio of 1 adult to 8 children, however, this will more often than not be 1 adult to 4 children or better.

Curriculum

We use elements of the National Curriculum as a guide but we will take the passions of the children, the views of parents and the local riches in our community to shape our learning journey. Children will learn in-depth, from a range of perspectives and produce something of service.

How to Enroll

We operate as a childminder and are registered with Ofsted. For your child to learn with us you will need to either:

  1. Remove your child from their current school, this is known as Elective Home Education. Your child can then enroll with us.

  2. In some cases, you may wish for your child to attend their current school for part of the week and Pod Micro School for the other. This is known as flexi schooling.

  3. If your child is already educated at home, they can join us for as many days as they wish.

For further information, please check the following guidance.

North Somerset

Bristol

Starting at Pod Micro School

  1.  Send us an enquiry at: info@podmicroschool.org or using the contact form below.

  2. We will answer any questions and send you an information pack.

  3. We will arrange a visit to come and see us and our pod

  4. We will then arrange a home visit to meet you all and to get to know your child in a space that is familiar to them.

  5. You are ready to start your learning adveture!

Please fill in the contact form below or email us at: info@podmicroschool.org

Pricing

We offer a flexible schooling approach, children can be with us for one to three days a week. In addition, all children will have access to Google Classroom, where they can continue with extension and practice tasks to support their learning.

1 day a week: £70 per week

2 days per Week: £135 per week

3 days per Week: £180 per week

10% Sibling discount available

Fees can be paid on a monthly or termly basis, whatever works best for you.

Additional Costs

£20 Joining Fee

Online Learning

In addition to our face-to-face learning all children will have access to our online learning platform using Google Classroom. This will give all children the chance to practise and consolidate their learning with feedback given online or face-to-face. Giving children the chance to independently practice learning and then giving them timely feedback is one of the most effective ways for children to improve their learning.

EEF Report on Feedback

Wild Mushrooms

Enquire about Micro Schooling

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