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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

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it cannot be successful"

Albert Einstein (Adapted quote)

Mainstream education has not changed much since the Victorian Era and it simply does not work for some children. We offer an inclusive environment which focuses on building relationships to inspire curiosity and learning. Our curriculum leans heavily towards science, computing and the arts and utilises strategies to support literacy and maths without the burden of handwriting or endless worksheets. Our skilled staff are able to develop learning based on the child's prior knowledge and their emotional state, this 'In the moment Planning' is vital in creating the best learning from every opportunity.

Relationships and trust are key to everything we do.

We have tried to remove as many barriers to learning as possible to ensure children feel safe at the Pod, these include:

Small groups

No chairs or desks

Flexible eating arrangements

Focus away from recording everything and learning practically

Opportunities for being outside and moving around

Slower, more relaxed transitions

Opt-out option for all activities

Carefully crafted activities to develop each child.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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...

Structure:

Our sessions are structured in a familiar way to reduce anxiety. This enables us to gradually introduce new learning and encourage children to move out of their comfort zone. Many of our children enjoy repeating activities and building self-confidence, our session structure enables this to develop into independent learning.

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 Transition

  • Mindfulness activities

  • Social, collaborative activities

10.00 - 14.00: Core Learning

  • Outdoor activity

  • Learning activities

  • Story time

  • Lunch and snack time built into day

14.00 - 14.30: Pick Up

  • Review of day's learning

  • Extension activities

  • Mindfulness activities

In addition to these dates, we may also run Holiday Clubs during school holiday times. Please check our Facebook Page for updates!

 Pl

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 5 children.

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.

For children aged 5+

1 day a week: £70 per week

2 days per Week: £135 per week

3 days per Week: £190 per week

Local Authority Funded (EOTAS or other)

£85 per day

10% Sibling discount available

For children up to the term of their 5th birthday:

£50 per day (Wednesdays only)

3 and 4 year old funding available

PLEASE NOTE: For funded places their is an additional fee of £15 per day to cover the cost of trips and consumables.

Fees are paid monthly in advance via BACS, Tax Free Childcare Scheme or Childcare Vouchers.

Additional Costs

£20 Joining Fee

Wild Mushrooms

Enquire about Micro Schooling

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