Democratic School Terra Incognita
Number of students: 10
Age range of students: 4-18
Founded: April 2011
Terra Incognita is a private elementary and secondary school in Bergharen, situated between the rivers Maas and Waal and close to the progressive university city of Nijmegen in the east of the Netherlands. The school is opened almost year round on Mo, Tue, Thu, Fri from 8.00 tot 18.00 hours.
Terra Incognita means unknown land, sometimes referred to on old maps with "here be dragons". Every child’s future is an unknown land for which you cannot plan in detail. It's a journey you undertake together and you learn while doing. And yes, there will be dragons! Dragons are symbols of natural and creative chaos, untamed subconscious powers and mythical caretakers and luckbringers. They confront us, guide us and help us grow.
The schools founding principles are freedom, equality and democracy. The schoolmeeting is the principal authority. Decisions are made using the socioratic method www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociocracy. The school closely resembles democratic schools such as Summerhill and Sudbury Valley school.
The schoolgrounds reflect the ideas already laid down by the New Education Fellowship in the 1920's; a rural, peaceful and green place where you can play wild, work the gardens and rest under shadowy trees. The light and roomy school was build in 1909 as a monastery’s girlschool. The small village of Bergharen is situated in the countryside and forests, lakes and rivers are all well within cycling distance.