At Park School, we have three fundamental questions that we ask of the children; are you looking after yourself, are you looking after others and are you looking after your environment? If they are doing these things then we often don’t need too many other rules. These three principles address the inter relationship between the personal and the communal.
Park School has been established for over 25 years and is one of the longest running alternative schools in the UK. It provides a learning environment which addresses the social, emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual and creative needs of each child, helping them to realize their unique potential. The school welcomes children of all cultural backgrounds and beliefs and is set in spacious grounds on the historic Dartington Hall Estate in South Devon.
Relationships at Park are special. Park is a Human Scale School where relationships are very important. It is the quality of relationships within the school which most often strikes visitors and newcomers. The individuality of each child is valued and children learn to respect themselves and others and to become constructive members of the school community. Children are encouraged to be responsible for their own behaviour, to understand its effects, and to gain insight into themselves and others. Small classes mean that there is time for personal attention as well as the space and freedom for individual expression.
The school day starts at 9.00am and ends at 3.00pm. For the older group there is supervised play until 3.20pm.
We consider good play opportunities important for the progress, health and happy development of children. There are large open spaces and some natural woodland which are used for games, exploration and den making. There are also purpose built play structures including large climbing frames, rope swings and small play houses. At playtimes children are free to visit friends in other classes. Many children bring their bikes and scooters to school, taking advantage of safe paths.
The school has a healthy eating policy and a mainly organic vegetarian lunch, whenever possible from the school garden, is prepared daily in the school kitchen – and children wash up their own things afterwards. Alternatively children can bring a packed lunch.
Well organised after school and holiday care is available locally.