Attending the Christian Brothers school on Jinx Hill back in the 1970s, the only freedom of choice granted the average pupil there was which hand got the leather first.
And it had to be both hands, of course. Because, hey, as Father Fox used to say, a bird never flew on one wing.
Or was that one of Sully’s, the stony-faced teacher with the Buddy Rich-thick drumstick up his jacket sleeve…?
Either way, it was a far cry and a yelp from the kind of education on offer up at The Sudbury School in Kilpedder. Here, they employ true democracy when it comes to a child’s education, with every pupil and every teacher getting one vote each on any decisions made. And it’s working, with a waiting list stretching to 2025.
Founded near Sudbury, Massachusetts back in 1968, and with just over 60 schools around the world, the philosophy is simple enough – let the child choose what they want to learn, the belief being that ‘the most efficient, long-lasting, and profound learning takes place when started and pursued by the learner‘.
The very first Sudbury school in Ireland – the other two are in Sligo and Clare – the Kilpedder HQ is a large, two-storey residential home up in sunny Kilpeddar. A large, two-storey residential home that’s going on the market in June.
Having already decided they needed a bigger base, the teachers and parents of Wicklow Sudbury Schoolare now seeking out a new home.
With fundraising events planned over the coming months, and a donation link now active on their main website, we caught up with teacher Bernard Moran and parent Niamh Egan this afternoon to find out more…