Free school with radical curriculum could open in Wimbledon next year

This Is Local London: L-R: Albie O'Rourke, Nikki O'Rourke, Selby O'Rourke, Olivia Anjos, Paula Anjos, Joseph Murray and Tony Murray L-R: Albie O'Rourke, Nikki O'Rourke, Selby O'Rourke, Olivia Anjos, Paula Anjos, Joseph Murray and Tony Murray

A free school offering a personalised curriculum for every child has been proposed by a group of parents and teachers.

If successful, Curioser & Co will be a non-selective, non-faith, community school for children aged four to 11, with plans to open a nursery in the future.

Founders intend to do-away with the traditional school model, proposing a greater focus on digital technology by incorporating apps, games and online courses into learning.

Nikki O'Rourke, a former primary school teacher, early years specialist and parent, said: "It’s part of putting children at the heart of planning, getting them to think creatively."

Mrs O'Rourke, from Wimbledon, believes childrens' curiosity is gradually stifled in the current didactic educational system.

While technology has advanced rapidly, the school system has barely changed in decades, she said. Aiming to open in September 2015, the school would encourage children to lead their own learning, devising individual projects designed to support the community.

Radical learning techniques like online lessons would be combined with practical projects in the classroom, allowing for flexible home-based learning for part of the school day.

The school's eight other founders includes three company directors, a journalist and marketing specialist, a property and buildings specialist and three education specialists.

Curioser & Co hope to secure up to £15m from the Department for Education to build the school when they submit their application in May.

The location won't be confirmed until after the application is accepted, but founders have indicated the school will be in Wimbledon.

Curioser & Co is holding a public meeting on Saturday, March 22, in the YMCA cafe, in Wimbledon.

To find out more, visit curiouserandco.co.uk

Comments (1)

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3:01pm Tue 18 Mar 14

Nikki I says...

Thank you so much for sharing our school with your readers, we appreciate all the help we can get. I suppose we don't see ourselves as radical but more building on innovative and successful practice from around the globe.
Although we will include technology, where appropriate, this will be to augment not replace face to face teaching. As well as to support our open relationships with parents by creating a range of ways they can keep up to date with their child's learning.
We feel privileged as a free school group to be able to look at current approaches and systems and adapt them in ways that both enhance learning and support families.
We hope some of your readers will come to our meeting to find out more.
Thank you again
Nikki
Thank you so much for sharing our school with your readers, we appreciate all the help we can get. I suppose we don't see ourselves as radical but more building on innovative and successful practice from around the globe. Although we will include technology, where appropriate, this will be to augment not replace face to face teaching. As well as to support our open relationships with parents by creating a range of ways they can keep up to date with their child's learning. We feel privileged as a free school group to be able to look at current approaches and systems and adapt them in ways that both enhance learning and support families. We hope some of your readers will come to our meeting to find out more. Thank you again Nikki Nikki I
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