Woodbridge: Ambitious plans for new ‘ecology’ school unveiled by Fullfledge Trust

TEACHERS and parents have unveiled ambitious plans for a ground breaking ecology school for children in east Suffolk.

The centre would eventually cater for youngsters aged three to 19 years of age and the hope is it will be up and running by next year.

It is the vision of The Fullfledge Trust which is made up of parents and teachers with a very clear philosophy.

It would be inspired by the Steiner approach – an education system that promotes a flexible curriculum through practical learning that gives equal attention to the physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and spiritual needs of each pupil to promote a sustainable way of life.

Teacher Marisa Formicola, who lives in Monewden, near Woodbridge, is a leading member of The Fullfledge Trust - which is named after a Suffolk word for a full grown fledgling.

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She said: “I have been really concerned about how education is no longer meeting the needs of children.

“I have experienced the Steiner approach as a parent and what struck me is how much happier the children were in that system.

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“It’s a very different attitude to education, its much more diverse in terms of the national curriculum and incorporates a lot more practical skills which are actually useful for real life.

“It’s a system that concentrates much more on quality rather than quantity and isn’t about sitting there learning dry figures and facts that children then just regurgitate.

“We will be inspired by the Steiner philosophy but we are not a Steiner school – we will be using parts from that way of learning and combining it with the best state school approaches.”

Ms Formicola, 44, who has four children who have been in the Steiner system and supply teaches at a number of local schools, said the ecology aspect was a key part of the project.

“We’re not just promoting it to tick boxes,” she said. “We believe we need to encourage diversity and help children discover their individual talents to create a sustainable society.”

The project team is made up of 10 members and they are hoping to find a site for the school in the Woodbridge/Ipswich area. They need to show there is a demand and interest in the school so they can take the scheme forward.

A meeting is being held on April 1 at Kesgrave Community Hall from 7pm-8.30pm for people to find out more.

Visit www.fullfledgeschool.co.uk or search for the Trust’s page on social networking website Facebook for more details.

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