Autumn Open Day at WDS
Wicklow Sudbury School Blog
by admin
8M ago
If you are considering enrolling your child(ren) in Wicklow Democratic School for the 23/24 school year or in the future, or are interested in learning more about democratic education and how our school works, register now for our next Open Day.   You’ll have the chance to tour the school building, meet some of our staff, students, parents and alumni, and ask any questions you have about self-directed learning. We are offering a morning and afternoon session which both include a brief talk about democratic education, a Q&A with students and alumni and a tour of the campus. We’ll have ..read more
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Move Yourself to Dance
Wicklow Sudbury School Blog
by admin
1y ago
In a democratic school such as ours, where students direct their own learning, students are exposed to a highly social environment. Students are constantly learning how to navigate this environment in ways that work for their own unique self. This includes navigating relationships with lots of other human beings – beings of different ages and with different belief systems, temperaments, and communication styles.  This can be a lot! There can be lots of conflict, conflict with others and inner conflict too. These conflicts offer us the opportunity to grow and develop ourselves but how to d ..read more
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Our Lockdown Story
Wicklow Sudbury School Blog
by admin
1y ago
The school day began much like any other on 12th March 2020. Students and staff arrived ready for whatever projects or courses they were working on. Some studied in the library, some worked on a puzzle in the kitchen, some played basketball. We were all well aware of the growing concern over Covid-19 in Ireland, but were still confident that our school would remain open, at least for a time longer. Then the announcement came from the Taoiseach and soon the 12th of March became our last day to be physically in school for the foreseeable future.   The question that racked all our minds aft ..read more
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STEMocratic Schools: Why Google Should Embrace the Sudbury Model
Wicklow Sudbury School Blog
by admin
1y ago
What do the best teams at the world’s biggest corporations have in common with democratic schools? Many people wonder what kind of future career path Sudbury students will be able to take. But in a world where creativity and critical thinking are too often buzz words with no substance, the Sudbury model can show how to cultivate these traits in a practical, replicable way. So read on to find out why our students will be able to innovate their way through any career they choose. A 2013 study from Google found that the company’s most innovative and important ideas came less often from the teams ..read more
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Memories That Burn
Wicklow Sudbury School Blog
by admin
2y ago
Exploring Wicklow Democratic School’s Relationship With Nature One Monday morning at Wicklow Democratic School, a number of students knelt around a fire pit in the schoolyard. It was time for morning activities with Home Groups, and this group decided to use the time to build a fire. They took turns lighting wool and thin sticks with steel and flint, and then, when that small pile ignited, they began to create a waffle pattern with thicker sticks, overlapping layers to build a bigger fire. “You have to treat a fire like a baby,” Marc, a fellow facilitator at Wicklow Democratic School, told me ..read more
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Re-energizing and Reinvigorating
Wicklow Sudbury School Blog
by admin
2y ago
While the rest of the country has been slowly reopening over the summer, Wicklow Democratic School has been preparing to reopen the doors to its community on September 6th. Staff members, parents and teachers have been working hard to rethink the space to best serve everyone. The team is very excited to now have Wifi available in all rooms and prefabs. Our community came together to brighten and re-energise the library, which is freshly furnished with new desks and shelves. We left some space for new books, too, the subjects of which will depend on the interests of our students. We are really ..read more
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Looking Back On Lockdown
Wicklow Sudbury School Blog
by admin
2y ago
Who would have thought that when we went off for winter break, it would be spring before we’d be back together again? While we all would have preferred to be together in school, the school community made the best of our time apart. We realise it’s hard to know what we’ve been up to with all the staff and students working away in their individual bubbles, so we wanted to reflect back on these past few months in lockdown while enjoying our lovely community being together again in school this week. Virtual Community We started up the online school again, on Discord this time to make it more acces ..read more
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The Godzilla vs Kong of Education? Direct Instruction or Constructivism, And The Winner Is…
Wicklow Sudbury School Blog
by admin
2y ago
A few years ago, myself and other members of the school community were invited onto an episode of David McWilliams’ TV3 series titled “David McWilliams’ Ireland: Could school be making you stupid?”. About midway through the discussion, a young man working in tech declared with evangelical certainty that Direct Instruction was the best teaching method. You know, like, ever. According to The Glossary of Education Reform, “direct instruction (DI) refers to (1) instructional approaches that are structured, sequenced, and led by teachers, and/or (2) the presentation of academic content to students ..read more
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Learning in a Time of Coronavirus
Wicklow Sudbury School Blog
by admin
2y ago
Renewing a Sense of Ownership So here we are, after the decision to go with another three weeks of school closures, at least. It’s a sensible option – why take unnecessary chances now that we have the light of a vaccine at the end of the tunnel? This week, I’ve seen feelings of extreme relief at the news that vulnerable family members will be receiving the vaccine, along with feelings of extreme anxiety from a relative working in childcare who was terrified to go back to work on Monday. Heightened emotions that are the new normal now. Amidst those highs and lows, Wicklow Sudbury School is some ..read more
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Screens, Structure and Self-directed Learning
Wicklow Sudbury School Blog
by admin
2y ago
A couple of years ago, (it feels like about a decade more than that!) a number of students were complaining of boredom, too many people being on screens, and feeling a lack of direction. The flexibility that comes with being a democratic school allowed us to be flexible and look for underlying causes rather than a surface level fix. In a traditional school, structures are more or less set in stone and this can leave you relying on tokenistic solutions when the root of the problem might run deeper. The ethos and adaptability of a democratic school allowed us to get to the heart of the issue The ..read more
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