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North West Democratic School

Sligo F91 DR13,

Our Mission

North West Democratic School (t/a Sligo Sudbury School) was founded in 2017 to address the growing need for an alternative to mainstream education for children and teenagers. We provide an environment for self-directed education for children aged 5-18 years, supported by a muti-discipliary staff team. We currently employ 9 part-time staff members. Standardised education and the curriculum taught in schools today do not adequately support diversity and inclusion. The emphasis on competition, the one size fits all approach, the drive for higher standards of achievement and performance effectively exclude a large portion of the population from the possibility to succeed, and discourage the qualities of collaboration, empathy and kindness that are so needed in our society. Our social mission is to address this issue by giving young people autonomy in a supportive learning environment and fostering the most volitional and high quality forms of motivation and engagement for activities, including enhanced performance, persistence, and creativity. We are a democratically run organisation which provides children with a real voice in their own education and the running of the school, fostering empowerment and a sense of personal responsibility. Students are not obliged to follow a set curriculum but are fully supported in designing their own learning experiences, enabling them to grow in confidence and take on challenges that are timely and at the right level for them. This model of education is particularly suited to children who do not fit the confining criteria and standards of mainstream and who are therefore disadvantaged by the system itself as their emotional, social, and learning needs cannot be adequately met within the mainstream model. Our mission is to provide a safe environment where young people can engage in self-directed learning and democracy, where children are free to choose their own learning goals and pursue them at their own pace, while participating in a community of self-governance and justice where each member's voice is equally valued and heard.

We believe that there are many approaches to learning and that each child can be supported in their chosen path. We are committed to providing an alternative model of education where children have choice about their learning, freedom to go about their business, and time to explore and create without pressure or constraint. We aim to safeguard an environment where autonomous, self-directed, intrinsically motivated learning can flourish.

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