Welcome to the site of the democratic school FLeKS
The FLeKS …
… is a school for the grades 1-10.
… intends to start in the summer 2017 in the Reiherstiegviertel of Hamburg- Wilhelmsburg.
… begins with a group of 20-25 children of primary school-age.
… will grow in the following years, reaching up to 100 students.
… the students themselves decide what, when, how and with whom they want to learn.
… students and learning companions together shape their daily school life, deciding everything relevant to this in the weekly school assembly.
… everybody is welcome! We consider diversity to be enriching and place particular emphasis on non-violent and non-discriminative dealings with one another.
What is FLeKS?
FLeKS is a democratic school, where grassroots democratic principles are realized in all aspects of everyday school life. It’s aim is to be a place for living and learning, where everybody can be comfortable. An atmosphere characterized by mutual respect, awareness and esteem, shall contribute to everybody’s learning and creating relationships confidently, curiously and anxiety-free.
FLeKS also aims to be a place where people are supported in the sense of emancipatory education, to take a critical stand in society, get involved and be able to deal with conflict situations. Self-directed learning, collective organization in a grassroots democratic way, and the inclusive, diversity orientated approach, are the three central pillars which constitute the foundations for FLeKS to become such a place for learning and living: To learn self-directedly means that people at FLeKS can choose what, when, how and with whom they learn. Hereby they make the positive experience, that they are trusted and that their interests and needs are supported and taken seriously. Hence, curious, joyful, interest-led and anxious-free learning becomes possible.
The collective organization is based on direct democratic and consensual decision-making of all members of the school community about issues of everyday school life, school rules and learning programs. This causes a high identification and contentment with the decisions made. Whilst experiencing interchange and controverse discussions, people recognize that their opinions are heard and respected. Through this, they develop empathic
understanding as well as a reflective attitude toward others positions.
FLeKS is a place, where effort is made to establish as far as possible a nonviolent and nondiscriminatory, careful coexistence in an heterogenic school community endeavoring to overcome boundaries – which are individual limits in our heads as well as structural barriers which bar equal participation.
FLeKS provides the students a space, where they can follow their curiosity and interests with regardful support. The students decide themselves what, when, with whom and in which manner they want to learn. Learning facilitators will support them in figuring out their projects and interests, putting them in place and reflecting on them critically.
Learning takes place in varying ways: students learn…
… by means of communication with their schoolmates and the cooperative organization of the school.
… while playing. Because of the manifolded challenges and their zest for the joint play the students learn something new about themselves, the others and the world whilst playing.
… in autonomously chosen and communally developed teaching units, workshops and learning groups. Classic subjects (mathematics, languages, etc.) as well as any other educational content can be learned and developed. Thus, it is possible to imagine a self-initiated and -directed Spanish course, an autodidactic guitar course, a crafting project led by a professional cabinetmaker, or a classic „chalk-and-talk“ lesson as preparation for an extern final examination.
… during the exploration of the world outside of the school grounds. In projects with people, initiatives and businesses in the neighborhood the students can explore their districts, and doing so, the school can become a part of the districts life. In addition excursions, journeys and exchanges broaden the perspective of the students on the world.
… informally. The informal learning begins with an unfocused approach to the environment in general or a certain subject. They surf for example in the internet, browse through a book, converse with each other, ramble around in nature. By doing this, questions and insights come to their attention which arouse their interest and form the starting point for a deeper examination.
The structure of FLeKS is coined by the thought of co-administration and the grassroots democratic organization of the daily school life by all members of the school community. Central spaces of the joint organization are the school assembly and the mediation circle.
The school assembly
The school assembly serves as a place to interact, discuss and make decisions for nearly all sections of daily school life and school organization. In the school assembly the rules and agreements of the life together in school are decided and discussed communally. All interested students and staff members take part in this weekly meeting.
Decisions are made consensually, this means in agreement of everyone. In this process all concerns are heard and agreements are found jointly – so they are backed by everyone.
In the school assembly the students experience themselves as activepersons, whose attitudes and actions are taken seriously by the other members of the school community and which have concrete effects on school life. They experience that rules and agreements are actively changeable by themselves and that these changes have direct and distinct consequences.
Therefore, the school assembly repeatedly allows students and learning facilitators alike to experience how valuable are the grassroots democratic process of making up ones mind, of interchange and of decision-making for a regardful coexistence. In doing so, their understanding for- and the contentment with the collective decisions grows.
The mediation circle
The mediation circle serves as a forum of constructive conflict resolution. It is held several times a week at midday for an hour, and helps to settle conflicts which cannot be sortied out during the problematic situation itself. The main objective of a mediation consists of (re-)approximating all sides involved for communication, listening to the individually distinct perceptions and needs concerning the conflict, and jointly finding ways towards a conflict resolution. The mediation circle is prepared and chaired by a group of students and staff members, who are elected by theschool assembly.
work-streams and forums
Parallel to the school assembly and the mediation circle, further groups and forums can be established in the school assembly. One can imagine, for example, work-streams for the administration of the music room or school computers, or forums for the organization of visitors inquiry or the joint cleaning of school buildings and grounds.
A school for everyone!
At FLeKS every child is warmly welcome. We consider the diversity of people and their experience of life to be an enrichment and want to be a school, which represents the diversity of people living in Hamburg.
How can we realize this?
To be a school where all human beings feel comfortable, we endeavor…
…to gain access, for example in form of scholarships for students, to barrier-free rooms, and special needs education sponsoring
…to create as far as possible a social interaction free of discrimination and violence, promoting a prejudice-conscious attitude in day-to-day school life and regarding the selections of the learning material.
…to create a heterogenic body of students and staff members which enables the students to engage with others who have similar experiences to themselves (exclusion and affiliation), to have different role models and to develop a respectful and careful social interaction with divers realities of life.