Our School in Practice

Sudbury School Paris is an anglophone democratic school which empowers children to grow in autonomy and maturity by trusting them with freedom and personal responsibility within a truly democratic framework.

Now, you’re probably wondering what this looks like in actual practice.

What kind of freedom are we talking about? What sort of responsibility is involved? How do members learn? How is democracy embodied in everyday life? What is the role of adults?

Let’s have a look at a few of these (check-out our FAQ for more).

First, we like to be clear about what our school isn’t.

At our school you will find:

  • no curriculum
  • no teachers (at least not in the usual sense)
  • no unsolicited testing
  • no timetables

That’s right!

Forget everything you thought you knew about schools. Here education is understood in the broadest possible sense! It is not focused on teaching (which is just one of the many ways one can learn) but truly and exclusively on the learner and their environment.

You makes the choices that will impact your life!

At the heart of our approach lies a deep trust.

Our school is based around the observation that nature has provided children with the innate drive and necessary tools to become effective adults. The work of authors such as John Holt or Peter Gray on self-directed learning – or more recently the innovative SOLEs (self-organised learning environments) developed all over the world by Professor Sugata Mitra – demonstrate beyond any doubt that this is indeed the case.

From the initial trust that we place in children emerge their own sense of trust in themselves and in their ability to deal with challenges in their life, a natural tendency to trust and respect each other, as well as a feeling of collective responsibility for their community.

Therefore the central function of our school is to provide an environment in which children can grow unhindered and find their own particular paths to living and flourishing as adults.

*This section is under maintenance – More content available soon*

Find out more about how Democracy is embodied at our school.
Coming soon…!

Shared governance & flexibility

School Meeting – The ultimate authority is the community as a whole
Committees and Clerks – Roles may be delegated to any and all

A clear and reliable framework

School Rules & Due Process – Guidelines for how to live together
Judicial Committee – “Freedom, not Licence”: Upholding the rules
Peer Mediation – Conflict can be healthy
Certifications – Members can’t do just anything, any old way

Self-management means shared responsibility

Upholding the Culture – Everyone is responsible for the school
Cleaning & Jury Duty – Unavoidable work or the price of freedom?
“Senior” and “Junior” members – Multidirectional transmission