Changes Ahead for Small Acres
Creating the space we call Small Acres started out as a group effort that little by little fell mainly on my shoulders. My idea it was to create a democratic school, yes, but a lot of people came along who believed in the possibility. Over the first year or two, others joined, some fell away, some stormed off, believing that Small Acres could not give them or their child the thing they searched for. Over time, a group has come together that sees Small Acres as a good thing for their children and for themselves. We all seem to agree that children should be free to learn and not be coerced by the adults in their lives, that children deserve a joyful childhood and that learning takes place in different ways for different people...
Small Acres will be leaving the adventure playground at the end of this school year when Southwark plans to shut the playground. The playground shutting may be temporary or not, it is not clear. A group of parents from Small Acres plans to go on in some capacity next year and the form this takes will evolve over the next several months.
I'm not leaving with a sense of failure. Small Acres is a success on many levels and against many predictions and against all odds. We have successfully given children a place to play and learn and rethink what education is. We have given parents a joyful place for their children and a community of like minded people, and we will continue to do this through July 2017.
Small Acres is going through a metamorphosis. Something new will emerge from this little school, It will be up to the current group of children and parents to decide what comes next We are meeting together through out this year to set a new direction. Eventually, there will be space for others to join. Hopefully whatever comes next will be stronger and brighter than Small Acres and carry forward the idea of democratic education in London.