Festival Of Alternative Education 17-06-2017

The Festival of Alternative Education

 Hebden Bridge, June 17th.     

Inspiring speakers, a choice of creative workshops on yoga, meditation, democratic education, politics, philosophy, flood prevention, art and much, much more. Food and music too!

The Festival will have three themes: Earth, Society and Self, andespecially how they are connected.

What’s on?

Yoga Classes with Teen Yoga

9am to 10am morning class and 3:30 to 4:30pm afternoon class with Robin the youth ambassador for Teen Yoga. Drop in yoga classes for all ages in the main hall.

Teen yoga have been making a difference and bringing wellbeing to young people since 2004.

How Meditation Enhances Learning and Creativity

10:15am to 11:15am talk in the Mezzanine.

Anil Sarna Lead teacher

A practical workshop with easy to use techniques led by Anil Sarna, Lead teacher at Hebden Bridge School.

How flooding is caused, a practical, creative workshop for children and adults.

10.15am-12.00pm in the Main Hall

Zoe Holden, creative director of Hebden Bridge School and Liva Hansen teacher at Hebden Bridge School

Why We Need Democracy In Our Schools

11:30am to 12:15pm talk in the Mezzanine

Derry Hannam, ex-deputy head, ex-school inspector, enthusiastic supporter of democatic education and occasional adviser to government committees talks about the importance of democracy.Liberating the Child in the School, 100 years of struggle.12:15pm- 1pm talk in the Mezzanine

What did teachers and educationalists do in response to the industrial revolution, the ongoing fight in the early 1900s for the rights of women, workers and the poor? From the beginning  successful schools were reduced to the influence of charismatic community leaders and teachers. The teacher was the hero. But was there a community? How did it share and promote its views? How did it encourage new experimentation? And how influential was it? And why is it important today?

Michael Newman has been at Summerhill School for 17 years. He has been vice chairman and Treasurer of Children’s Rights Alliance for England, and has been on Executive Committees of British Humanist Association.  He set-up the Summerhill children’s campaign committee that lead the fight to save the school.Grow Big Sense Pod

11am to 1pm, the Sense Pod will be outside if the the rain stays away.

Come and discover this unique sensory play experience for younger children.


At 1pm there will be hearty, low-priced, locally-grown food  provided by Treesponsibility.

Practical Democracy in Schools

2pm to 3:15pm in the Mezzanine

Imagine an education system that values and gives respect to every student and where being supported to learn in the way that best suits each child is a right, not a privilege. You’re imagining a democratic education. Phoenix Education Trust will give a practical demonstration of how democratic education works.

Democratic Free School in Manchester Project

4pm to 5pm in the Mezzanine.

Join Anil Sarna and Lisa Matthews in an ideas gathering  and networking session for people who would like to get involved in starting a democratic secondary free school in Manchester.

Tree planting workshopImage result for treesponsibility\School planting header3:30pm to 4pm, in the mezzanine and then 4pm-5pm  outside.

Join Dongria from Treesponsability for treeplanting activities, learn about the importance of trees in the landscape, the water cycle and their ecological functions.


5:15pm in the main hall. Open forum discussions. 30 secs on the mic for everyone in the room. Discussion groups on Earth /Society/Self.

Open-Space Workshops Throughout The Day

In keeping with our democratic principles this is an open-space festival where any delegate can offer to lead a workshop. This will foment the circulation of ideas and experience, enhance friendship and enrich networking.  Workshops will be 45-60 minutes long.

Practical Info

9am to 6pm, Saturday June 17thThe Birchcliffe Centre in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

Tickets are free for children under 12, and for adults it’s a pay-as-you-feel donation . Click here for full information.

If you want to get involved get in touch

Timetable so far

9-109-10 Early Morning Teen Yoga9-10am9-10am
10-1110.15-11.15amAnil SarnaHow meditation enhances learning.10.15-11.15Zoe HoldenHow floods are caused. Workshop
11-12Grow BigFree play space11.30-12.15amDerry HannamWhy we need democracy in our schools? 
12-1Grow BigFree play space12.15 -1.00pmMichael Newman (Summerhill School)Children’s rights- a 100 years of struggle. Zoe HoldenHow floods are caused. Workshop    
1-21 PM LUNCHTreesponsibility: organic food1 PM LUNCHTreesponsibility: organic food1 PM LUNCHTreesponsibility: organic food
2-3Free play space2:00- 3.30pmPhoenix Education Trust. democracy in schools –a practical demonstration
3-4Fee play space3.30-4:00 PM Tresssponsibility Workshop  intro3.30-4.30Teen Yoga. yoga practice
4-5Free play space4.00-5.00Open meeting:Geenrating ideas for aDemocratic School Project Manchester (Anil Sarna and Lisa Matthews)4:00-5.00   PM Treesponsibility workshop  continued (outdoors)
5-65.15 PMPlenaryOpen forum discussions.30 secs on the mic for everyone in the room.Discussion groups on Earth /Society/Self/Mixing adults and children.Democratic Plenary
7:00 DINNER Bring and share