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The Idea of Summerhill

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Megan Fitzpatrick

on 5 May 2014

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Transcript of The Idea of Summerhill

Summerhill School
What Summerhill is like?
Most Frequent Question ?
All are Equal
Summerhill was founded in 1921

The school is located in the village of Leiston, in Suffolk, England.

Many students start at Summerhill at the young age of 5, others do not come until as late as fifteen.

Normally this school has a total of 45 students, 25 being boys and 20 girls.
Summerhills most frequent question is "Won't the child turn around and blame the school for not making them learn arithmetic or music?"
They believe the answer to this question is that the students learn what they want to learn here and live their own lives, not the lives their parents believe they should live.
Neill thinks that questions like this lead to an interference by adults that produces a generation of robots.
Summerhill believes that they are creating a school full of unique students who aren't accepting of the status quo.
Summerhill: Good School
Summerhill school is a different school. The school accepts being different as a good thing. They don't believe that schools should be uncreative and strict about sitting at a desk or what you learn.
"Well, we set out to make a school in which we should allow children freedom to be themselves."
Summerhill believed the best way to do this was getting rid of all discipline, all direction, all suggestion, all moral training and religion beliefs.
Summerhill believe that students can develop without adults help to the best of their ability.
First thing that was interesting about Summerhill was all lessons and classes are optional, just another example of the freedom students have.
At Summerhill they express the importance of all being equal
"Rudd, the chemistry man, is Derek. Other members of the staff are known as Harry, and Ulla, and Pam. I am Neill, and the cook is Esther." I believe this quote is important to express the relationship the students have with all of the workers of Summerhill.
Neill knows he is the boss and so do the students but Neill doesnt use this to his advantage he meets the students at a common ground.
Summerhill doesn't believe in having class examinations in school but they do, at times, have exams for fun.
They will have papers that are on fun topics that aren't intended to be taken seriously.
They have questions that are easy, not because the students are incapable but because they don't expect these questions normally.
Unlike school in the United States, when Summerhill classes become cancelled students are more disappointed than excited.
Summerhill has many examples of success of past students such as the example they used of David, who is now a lecturer in mathematics at London University.
There was an incident in which a student needed to be punished and they voted that the punishment would be banishment from classes for a week.
A.S. Neill
Megan Fitzpatrick

The idea of Summerhill School,
where it is now and its story.
The Idea of Summerhill
Of these 45 students there were 5 Scandinavians, 1 Hollander, 1 German and 1 American.
They only place timetables to students about going to classes.
Have classes according to age and also according to their interests.
Students can take as long as they want to attend class, especially coming from other schools which have (according to Summerhill) made them hate schools.
Summerhill believes that learning in itself is not as important as a persons personality and character.
My thoughts on Summerhill School
I believe that Summerhill is an amazing school striving for excellence in a different way. All of the students seem to love the different teaching style. I think that the way they make classes optional and the students be able to pick what they want to learn about makes the students more excited to learn. It shows that if you give students freedom, such as the classes are optional and not a chore they are a choice. I think that more schools should be like Summerhill and make students strive to want to attend school and not just get by.
Full transcript