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(Australia) Glowing report on "revolutionary" alternative school; is this the future?

July 15, 2018, Sydney Morning Herald: Rush to enrol in Lindfield learning revolution Parents are rushing to enrol their children in a revolutionary new state school that will scrap year levels, school bells and the word 'classroom'. Lindfield Learning Village won't be the kind of school most adults recognise. Teaching will happen around 'waterholes' or 'campfires'. Students will take responsibility for their own learning. And high schoolers will mentor kindy kids. The new, public kindergarten to year 12 school on the old University of Technology site at Ku-ring-gai will open in term one next year and take the first 350 students of what will eventually be a cohort of 2000. There has been intense interest; 1200 parents turned up to information nights, 180 families applied for 60 year seven places, and locals have been emailing the new principal with the word "excited" in the subject line. "My sense .... is that people are ready for this and are looking for something new for their children," said newly-appointed principal Stephanie McConnell. … Each student will have their own 'learning pathway', monitored by a 'learning mentor'. And the school will teach through projects that engage several disciplines together, rather than focusing on one at a time…. The layout of the school will reflect this. Rather than traditional classrooms, there will be waterhole spaces, used for big groups. In the campfire space, a small group will work with a teacher. And students can work by themselves in the cave…. When school begins, it will eschew old fashioned notions such as school bells. "It's about students' responsibility for their own learning," said Ms McConnell. The cross-discipline approach means their day will not be divided up into subjects like in schools of old…. Ms McConnell has been busy doing student interviews for next year. At the moment, there is no catchment restriction, although there will be in the future. She will choose students that seem most likely to benefit from Lindfield's teaching model. "There are a variety of children in that category, from those who are gifted in one area and can be accelerated in that space, or students with [autism] or [ADHD], and it provides them with support," she said.

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