Re-energizing and Reinvigorating

While the rest of the country has been slowly reopening over the summer, Wicklow Democratic School has been preparing to reopen the doors to its community on September 6th. Staff members, parents and teachers have been working hard to rethink the space to best serve everyone. The team is very excited to now have Wifi available in all rooms and prefabs. Our community came together to brighten and re-energise the library, which is freshly furnished with new desks and shelves. We left some space for new books, too, the subjects of which will depend on the interests of our students. We are really eager to see the library grow with our growing community.

In addition to revamping the library, our community and staff have deep-cleaned all rooms and reorganized the placement of furniture to create an environment that is easy to navigate, comfortable and inviting. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who gave their time and energy (and maybe sacrificed a few t-shirts) to paint the school. With some walls painted a deep green and others a light lilac; all they need now is some student artwork. We hope to create many more community murals this year, and we plan to leave space for spontaneous group art projects as we all discuss curricula during SEW (School Evolution Week).

We have put together a researched plan to implement our Open Curriculum Project. This plan takes into account various learning styles and the tools that can best support them. Students can choose to work with a staff member to map out an area of interest that they would like to explore over the course of the year, or meet with staff to discuss a skill that they would like to develop. Our goal is to coordinate an advising network that is tailored for each student’s academic success, career preparation, experiential learning and personal growth. We aim to converse with students about their interests and prepare supporting documents to best facilitate the exploration of these interests. We are inspired by Gaisce to put together a means of learning for students that leads towards a personalised portfolio. These student portfolios will showcase incremental growth in skill-building such as cooking, drawing, refining forestry techniques and many, many more. We also hope to create more opportunities for portfolio work to culminate in certification. Students will be able to record their work and progress with a digital document, and staff will continually connect with students through each stage of the process.