Similarities and differences between our community and a mainstream school.


  • Trained, experienced teachers.
  • Planned and sequenced lessons.
  • Regular and set timetable.
  • We place value on children gaining skills in math, literacy, and science, and as such, these lessons are a core part of our timetable.
  • We aim to develop effective and helpful learning behaviours.
  • There is the support of teaching assistants in some lessons.
  • We have trips, celebrations, and community events.
  • Teacher/parent meetings once a year.
  • Written reports twice a year
  • Lunchtime clubs are available.
  • Year 6 residential.


  • No formal marking or assessments.
  • Lessons are planned with input from the students.
  • Students decide with the teacher what topics they cover each term/half term.
  • Students are involved in making decisions that directly affect the community and various mechanisms are in place to help children share their voice and have meaningful and appropriate influence.
  • We are registered as a childcare provider, not a school. This means we do not have to assess or track progress formally.
  • Mixed-aged groups.
  • No school uniform.
  • Children can take holidays in term time.
  • Our primary focus is on ‘group’ learning and collaboration, but we also try to integrate individual learning where appropriate and possible.
  • No loud school bells or whistles.
  • Small class sizes (12 maximum for the 5-7-year-olds and 14 for groups aged 7-15).
  • Staff and children have co-created and use an expectations policy that is used to establish agreed conduct, sanctions and to promote prosocial behaviour. We do not have detentions, isolations, or ‘missed’ breaks/lunches.
  • We do not have specialist SEND provision or funding.
  • Family Circles three times a year where students and families all invited to celebrate together.


Why does Hebden Bridge Learning Community charge fees?

Hebden Bridge Learning Community does not receive any funding from the government. We try our best to find a balance between keeping our fees as low as possible whilst wanting to ensure that our teachers receive a real living wage.

What do the children do on the days they’re not at community?

Lots of things! Home-education, forest school, farm school, sports, tutoring. There are loads of activities available locally for children.

Can my child join in the middle of term?

Yes, the first step to joining the community is to come to an Open day or a Taster session. 

Do children have to go to their classes?

Yes. The children democratically decide what topic they will study each term and then participate in the classes. However, we all have our challenging moments. If a child doesn’t want to engage with a particular class, they are invited to learn something different so long as they don’t interrupt others’ learning.

If students outvoted staff and decided something dangerous or ill-advised, what would the educators do?

Freedom comes with responsibility. Children are innately fair and the responsibility given to them helps them to develop their wisdom. The educators are there to offer advice to make sure that everyone is safe and well. Parents are also invited to participate in decision making when they are directly affected by a decision (e.g. changes in timetable).