OUR REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH

Atelier 21 is intentionally different from other schools.

Young people are going to need different skills to thrive than they might have needed thirty years ago, so schools need to be different.  Generally mainstream schooling, private or state schooling, hasn’t changed a great deal in the last few decades, while the rest of the world has changed unrecognisably.

We are attempting to address that gap by offering Atelier 21’s revolutionary approach to school. At Atelier 21 young people are taught how to think, not what to think.  Pupils at Atelier 21 learn how to be resourceful, resilient and reflective people whom assume responsibility for their place in the world.

We use Montessori materials as aids to teach maths and English as the resources are really intuitive and self correcting, which helps us to help learners help themselves. Otherwise, we are not a Montessori School, although many of our values are synonymous with the Montessori Approach.

We advocate for the rights of children and the protection of the culture of childhood as an important time for rich connection with nature, other people and the wider world, as they embark on the life-long journey of self-discovery.

We replace the pressurised, test driven culture to pass exams, with a totally unique, personal responsibility model that aims to encourage children to develop a rigorous attitude towards mastering academics and developing skills and attitudes over time in order to thrive in life (and pass exams when they need to!).

We are a pioneering Future School which means children learn through a multitude of ways: part academic workshops, part project based learning and part self-directed learning. These are all underpinned by our quest to give children a voice in the running of their school through our democratic school circles.

OUR REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH

Atelier 21 is intentionally different from other schools.

Young people are going to need different skills to thrive than they might have needed thirty years ago, so schools need to be different.  Generally mainstream schooling, private or state schooling, hasn’t changed a great deal in the last few decades, while the rest of the world has changed unrecognisably.

We are attempting to address that gap by offering Atelier 21’s revolutionary approach to school. At Atelier 21 young people are taught how to think, not what to think.  Pupils at Atelier 21 learn how to be resourceful, resilient and reflective people whom assume responsibility for their place in the world.

We advocate for the rights of children and the protection of the culture of childhood as an important time for rich connection with nature, other people and the wider world, as they embark on the life-long journey of self-discovery.

We replace the pressurised, test driven culture to pass exams, with a totally unique, personal responsibility model that aims to encourage children to develop a rigorous attitude towards mastering academics and developing skills and attitudes over time in order to thrive in life (and pass exams when they need to!).

We are a pioneering Future School which means children learn through a multitude of ways: part academic workshops, part project based learning and part self-directed learning. These are all underpinned by our quest to give children a voice in the running of their school through our democratic school circles.

REIMAGINING THE
SCHOOL DAY

DEMOCRATIC
SCHOOL
CIRCLES

WELLBEING

iGCSE
COURSES

REIMAGINING THE
SCHOOL DAY

DEMOCRATIC
SCHOOL
CIRCLES

WELLBEING

iGCSE
COURSES

REIMAGINING THE
SCHOOL DAY

DEMOCRATIC
SCHOOL
CIRCLES

WELLBEING

iGCSE
COURSES

REIMAGINING THE SCHOOL DAY

Imagine a school where children have lots of time to choose what they want to learn about and get good at.

With timetabled academic workshops and project-based learning in the mornings, children have most of the afternoons available for self-directed studies: time dedicated to carrying out research projects of their own design around the things that most interest them.

There is also a number of other seminars and workshops in the afternoon pupils can sign up to attend when they are not working on something specific or of it would be useful to their own research.

The rhythm of the day is designed to fit with our culture of respect: where adults see themselves as facilitators of learning, who are committed to delivering an entirely relevant and personalised educational experience to every child.

Atelier 21 Trees

A school which is curated flexibly around your child’s interests, one that expects to mould itself around the strengths and needs of the pupils in our community.

We expect to challenge pupils to always be working on the leading edge of what they can’t yet do but are working hard to get good at.

Teachers are also close by to challenge them and help frame learning when it’s needed. Sometimes pupils work alone, sometimes in small or large groups and very often with children much older or younger than them – it’s completely up to them as trusted, autonomous members of our learning community.

School day times:

Reception class 9am-3.15pm
Primary & Secondary School Classes 8.30-4.15pm.

Our days are longer so that we can give pupils a chance to deep dive into their learning and have plenty of time for class discussions, sports, play and project work. It’s not about cramming more in, more about creating a healthier pace for the community to thrive. For younger primary aged children up to age 7, they can be collected at 3.15pm if needed.

REIMAGINING THE SCHOOL DAY

Imagine a school where children have lots of time to choose what they want to learn about and get good at.

With timetabled academic workshops and project-based learning in the mornings, children have most of the afternoons available for self-directed studies: time dedicated to carrying out research projects of their own design around the things that most interest them.

There is also a number of other seminars and workshops in the afternoon pupils can sign up to attend when they are not working on something specific or of it would be useful to their own research.

The rhythm of the day is designed to fit with our culture of respect: where adults see themselves as facilitators of learning, who are committed to delivering an entirely relevant and personalised educational experience to every child.

Atelier 21 Trees

A school which is curated flexibly around your child’s interests, one that expects to mould itself around the strengths and needs of the pupils in our community.

We expect to challenge pupils to always be working on the leading edge of what they can’t yet do but are working hard to get good at.

Teachers are also close by to challenge them and help frame learning when it’s needed. Sometimes pupils work alone, sometimes in small or large groups and very often with children much older or younger than them – it’s completely up to them as trusted, autonomous members of our learning community.

School day times:

Reception class 9am-3.15pm
Primary & Secondary School Classes 8.30-4.15pm.

Our days are longer so that we can give pupils a chance to deep dive into their learning and have plenty of time for class discussions, sports, play and project work. It’s not about cramming more in, more about creating a healthier pace for the community to thrive. For younger primary aged children up to age 7, they can be collected at 3.15pm if needed.

Emergent Curriculum

Our emergent curriculum is developed with pupils, taking account of their many questions and theories about the world; it’s influenced by the Reggio Emilia Approach, the Montessori Approach and the National Curriculum.

The way we work is underpinned by the principles of Guy Claxton’s Learning Power Approach which celebrates the grapple and effort required to make progress when we learn things. This means pupils learn not to fear making mistakes and become intelligent learners for life with a moral compass and a growth mindset in place.

Guy Claxton is a cognitive scientist and prolific education author of the past two decades. He is also the Patron of Atelier 21. Our bespoke Personal Progress Diaries used by pupils and their teachers have been co-designed and written by Hayley Peacock, our Head of School and Becky Carlzon, Guy’s co-author of Powering Up Children: The Learning Power Approach to Primary Teaching. Guy and Becky are both consultants at Atelier 21 who help train teachers and staff on inset days.

This blend of chosen pedagogies from the best schools across the globe, helps children master the skills that will be demanded of them in the future – we call these the BIG 6 Learnable Intelligences:

Emergent Curriculum

Our emergent curriculum is developed with pupils, taking account of their many questions and theories about the world; it’s influenced by the Reggio Emilia Approach, the Montessori Approach and the National Curriculum.

The way we work is underpinned by the principles of Guy Claxton’s Learning Power Approach which celebrates the grapple and effort required to make progress when we learn things. This means pupils learn not to fear making mistakes and become intelligent learners for life with a moral compass and a growth mindset in place.

Guy Claxton is a cognitive scientist and prolific education author of the past two decades. He is also the Patron of Atelier 21. Our bespoke Personal Progress Diaries used by pupils and their teachers have been co-designed and written by Hayley Peacock, our Head of School and Becky Carlzon, Guy’s co-author of Powering Up Children: The Learning Power Approach to Primary Teaching. Guy and Becky are both consultants at Atelier 21 who help train teachers and staff on inset days.

This blend of chosen pedagogies from the best schools across the globe, helps children master the skills that will be demanded of them in the future – we call these the BIG 6 Learnable Intelligences:

Guy Claxton

Thinking
Skills

Guy Claxton

Interpersonal
Skills

Guy Claxton

Emotional
Intelligence

Guy Claxton

Decision
Making Skills

Guy Claxton

Mental
Agility

Guy Claxton

Character
Development

Guy Claxton

Thinking
Skills

Guy Claxton

Interpersonal
Skills

Guy Claxton

Emotional
Intelligence

Guy Claxton

Decision
Making Skills

Guy Claxton

Mental
Agility

Guy Claxton

Character
Development

Democratic School Circles

“A radical change is going to be needed to get a learning system fit for a democracy. It needs to get away from domination and its endless stream of uninvited teaching. It needs to recognize that, in a democracy, learning by compulsion means indoctrination and that only learning by invitation and choice is education.” Roland Meighan

In our school children and teenagers are accorded rights and responsibilities of democratic citizenship; students and teachers vote at School Circle meetings on the rules that affect them, and serve on different circle groups to make decisions on various aspects of the running of Atelier 21. These decisions range from which sports to put on the curriculum next term, to which new behaviour rules we need as a community, to which student enterprise ideas will be granted loans from the school bank for example.

What better training than this to prepare students for democratic citizenship? When rules are broken, misdemeanours are heard at the school circle meeting and appropriate sanctions are decided on and given out by the group of students and teachers in that circle. Any serious misdemeanours or acts of intolerable behaviour will be dealt with by the Head of School.

Democratic School Circles

“A radical change is going to be needed to get a learning system fit for a democracy. It needs to get away from domination and its endless stream of uninvited teaching. It needs to recognize that, in a democracy, learning by compulsion means indoctrination and that only learning by invitation and choice is education.” Roland Meighan

In our school children and teenagers are accorded rights and responsibilities of democratic citizenship; students and teachers vote at School Circle meetings on the rules that affect them, and serve on different circle groups to make decisions on various aspects of the running of Atelier 21. These decisions range from which sports to put on the curriculum next term, to which new behaviour rules we need as a community, to which student enterprise ideas will be granted loans from the school bank for example.

What better training than this to prepare students for democratic citizenship? When rules are broken, misdemeanours are heard at the school circle meeting and appropriate sanctions are decided on and given out by the group of students and teachers in that circle. Any serious misdemeanours or acts of intolerable behaviour will be dealt with by the Head of School.

Wellbeing at Atelier 21

At Atelier 21, we recognise that having positive mental health is a driving force towards a successful experience both in school and beyond. Drawing upon the Big 6 Learnable Intelligences[1] we aim to promote positive mental health and wellbeing for our whole school community (children, staff, parents and carers), and recognise how important mental health and emotional wellbeing is to our lives in just the same way as physical health. We recognise that children’s mental health is a crucial factor in their overall wellbeing and can affect their learning and achievement. All children go through ups and downs during their school career and some face significant life events

Some of the ways we promote good mental and physical wellbeing are:

Our day starts with 15 minutes of mindfulness activities in every class everyday. That’s how seriously we take wellbeing, because setting up your day feeling calm and centered and ready to be curious feels good!

We have weekly PSHE lessons and class meetings designed to support our children’s wellbeing by exploring how our minds, bodies, relationships and personal mindset affect our wellbeing.

All our pupils have weekly Yoga with a qualified children’s Yoga instructor.

We have a wonderful chef at Atelier 21 who ensures that we have healthy and nutritious meals. These meals are eaten together, with our teachers. It is a time to connect and reflect. Over the course of our school week, we are given many opportunities to connect with children from other year groups. In our Wednesday workshops, we learn and collaborate alongside 6-8 children from other classes.

Our ‘Wild Fridays’ ensure that all children are actively learning outside, in nature, every single week. Being situated in Broadfield Park allows us to climb trees, run and play on the field, for at least an hour every day. We are fortunate to have an experienced PE teacher who teaches PE twice a week. Additionally, Reception, Year One and Year Two swim weekly at the K2 Leisure Centre. The remaining classes each swim for half a term each academic year.

Noticing is one of our ‘Learning Powers’ at Atelier 21 Future School. We practise mindfulness daily and really see the value of weaving this into all that we do. Our resident yoga teacher visits once a week.

As another of our highly regarded ‘Learning Powers,’ kindness is paramount to our Wellbeing and we celebrate kindness through regular ‘Kindness weeks,’ ongoing training with the whole school community and daily class meeting.

[1] The Big 6 Learnable Intelligences are: Interpersonal Skills, Mental Agility, Thinking Skills, Decision Making Skills, Emotional Intelligence, Character Development

iGCSE Courses

It is our intention to re-register with ofsted in order for our school to offer GCSEs for pupils aged 14-16 from 2023.

Pending a successful re-registration to teach pupils aged 14-16, we intend to offer a range of core and non-core subjects and would expect these to include at least: Maths, English Literacy, English Language, Sciences, Foreign Languages, Media, Business Studies, Art, Music and Drama and other options depended on by student vote. Students will study iGCSE’s in small groups with a high teacher to student ratio.

Here are the reasons why we think students at Atelier 21 are likely to get better iGCSE results than at other schools:

  • Small group teaching means students have more time with their teachers to ensure they understand the content.
  • We have the time and motivation to ensure that every student understands what is being asked of them and can provide more one to one support with more teaching staff available.
  • We teach exam technique in an explicit way – it matters to know what is meant by ‘explain, describe, or analyse’ for example, as this affects the answer mark.
  • The Learning Power Approach that underpins our curriculum enables students to embrace challenge and self-regulate, meaning they aren’t immobilised by fear of failure or ‘getting the wrong answer’ in preparation for an exam. This means they have a healthy attitude going into iGCSE’s and will be naturally motivated as they understand that getting exam results is part of the process of creating choices for our lives. They develop higher levels of critical evaluation technique through our project based and self-directed approach to learning, and are more resilient and creative in order to prepare themselves for the process of sitting exams.
Atelier 21 Trees

iGCSE Courses

It is our intention to re-register with ofsted in order for our school to offer GCSEs for pupils aged 14-16 from 2023.

Pending a successful re-registration to teach pupils aged 14-16, we will offer a range of core and non-core subjects and would expect these to include at least: Maths, English Literacy, English Language, Sciences, Foreign Languages, Media, Business Studies, Art, Music and Drama and other options depended on by student vote. Students will study iGCSE’s in small groups with a high teacher to student ratio.

Here are the reasons why we think students at Atelier 21 are likely to get better iGCSE results than at other schools:

  • Small group teaching means students have more time with their teachers to ensure they understand the content.
  • We have the time and motivation to ensure that every student understands what is being asked of them and can provide more one to one support with more teaching staff available.
  • We teach exam technique in an explicit way – it matters to know what is meant by ‘explain, describe, or analyse’ for example, as this affects the answer mark.
  • The Learning Power Approach that underpins our curriculum enables students to embrace challenge and self-regulate, meaning they aren’t immobilised by fear of failure or ‘getting the wrong answer’ in preparation for an exam. This means they have a healthy attitude going into iGCSE’s and will be naturally motivated as they understand that getting exam results is part of the process of creating choices for our lives. They develop higher levels of critical evaluation technique through our project based and self-directed approach to learning, and are more resilient and creative in order to prepare themselves for the process of sitting exams.
Atelier 21 Trees

READ ABOUT OUR
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY MODEL
HERE