School that uses yoga and meditation to expand

Anil Sarma
Anil Sarma

AN INDEPENDENT school that uses daily meditation and yoga and is run democratically by its staff and students is expanding its provision.

Hebden Bridge School, which offers sessions to home-educated children, is growing to a two-day school from September.

Pupils aged 10-13 will also expand on their current topic-based approach by adding maths, geography and drama to the present science, humanities and arts to “offer a greater variety and richness of learning opportunities”.

The class size will never be more than 15 students and they can choose to do one or two days per week, said lead teacher Anil Sarna.

He added: “The second day is building on the academic success of the first. Children and parents love the topic-based approach where all the subjects are interconnected, allowing the learning in art and humanities to reinforce the learning in science and make the whole learning process more creative and student-centred.”

For students aged 13-16, GCSEs will be offered in a “unique, self-directed-study approach”. Students will decide which subjects they want to do. They will bring their work to school and are free to work independently and ask teachers for advice at any time.

Mr Sarna said: “All the teachers are fully-qualified with an excellent track record of GCSE teaching. Children will have the full Hebden Bridge School experience with yoga and meditation to enrich their learning potential, as well as the democratic meeting to participate in the running of the school.”

Students can choose from subjects and can do “whatever number they like and decide to do their exams when they feel good and ready”.

Mr Sarna said: “We consulted our students and parents to find the best GCSE approach for them and we came up with this. In many schools there is a lot of teaching going on but not much learning, while here the focus is on the learning and teaching where necessary. It is all part of creating an environment where the students’ natural desire for learning is allowed to breathe.”