Welcome
to our interactive
centenary website

Celebrating 100 years of Summerhill School and the inspirations A.S.Neill has given the world. Join our wider community, share your own story and create a project or two. Also please enjoy new, never seen before insights into our school.

1921-20021 Celebrating a centenary A.S.Neill's Summerhill School

Have a look around.

Welcome from
Zoë Neill Readhead

Welcome to our new centenary website which is commemorating one hundred years of A.S.Neill’s amazing school.  Founded in Dresden, Germany in 1921 Summerhill has survived against all the odds, having been pilloried by the press, misrepresented by the media and harried by Her Majesty’s School Inspectors throughout its history. Add to that the constant battle with financing and it is amazing that it is still here, not only surviving, but thriving!

Never in his wildest dreams could Neill, Neill Orange Peel have imagined that Summerhill would reach such a ripe old age – or that it would be as influential as it has been throughout the world. 

Almost weekly I receive emails saying, not that people have read my father’s books and enjoyed them – but that they have read my father’s books and IT CHANGED THEIR LIVES!

Summerhill’s hundred years give all of us a chance to celebrate the philosophy that Neill created and also to perhaps try to spread the word and find ways of sharing what we have been doing here with more people and schools worldwide.

This website has been created to celebrate interactively with all of you.  We encourage you to get involved and to tell us just what A.S.Neill, his books and his ideas have done for you or how they have affected you in your own life or that of your school.

Please make sure that you go and check out the pages about our proposed A.S.Neill Archive and Research Centre. This is a very exciting project that will enable serious research into educating the ‘whole’ child, the importance of childhood in its natural sense, and how a ‘Neillian’ education can prepare young people better for the world they live in. So, a truly sustainable education for a newly sustainable world.

It will also provide a professional standard archive to ensure that Summerhill and everything that makes it so special will be preserved for the next hundred years!

We will need some help with the financing of this building, so anything you can think of or feel you may be able to do to help with this would be amazing.

Enjoy the site, don’t forget to raise us a glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve as the clock strikes midnight into 2021 and we hope to see many of you at some of our events.

Best wishes to all,

Zoë 

Iris Smith

A student from Summerhill School. I love climbing trees, drawing and animals.

Hildebrand Weisenborn

I was a student at Summerhill. Needless to say Summerhill has had a profound effect on my life and I still think back on my time at Summerhill very fondly. Beyond helping me find myself and find my passions in life, I think Summerhill has made me a kinder, more understanding person towards those around me. Summerhill has helped me gain a foundational understanding of who I am that has helped me more than any set of regular school lessons could have helped me - for which I am grateful.

Saumya Sharma

There are few people who I can trust instinctively, just have to have that gut feeling. It just happens...almost in a chronological way. Listen to/Read their words, strikes home, instant calm or bliss. It's like, "Oh, someone understands me !!" I "became a teacher" when I was 21 years of age. No experience, but knew this was right. It was when I read A. S. Neill's "Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing" at the age of 29...ish, after having given birth to a beautiful boy, struggling with the alternative school system in India, that I felt my prayers had been answered and instantly felt liberated. Next stage was to find out whether this school still exists. To my surprise and joy...it STILL DOES ! The step after was a no-brainer. That is where our son, Sanuka should be...and that is exactly where he is now ! What the best for this child we had brought into this world. He is one of those very fortunate children who can experience Summerhill first-hand. Every time I speak with him, I sense Neill's success in creating a space for young people. What a timeless and marvellous mind ! Neill's thoughtful and highly imaginative ideas has brought great comfort to many in the field of education. It has given me the opportunity to think differently and feel all right about having those ideas and thoughts. Thank you, Summerhill Team.

Nick Flowers

I went to Summerhill as a pupil in the '60s and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I went into the film and TV business as a sound recordist and retired about five years ago. Now in my early 70s, I alternate between a weeping heart liberal and a 'flog the plebs' Tory. The place seems to have changed a lot since my time: the carriages really were disused railway carriages (Great Eastern Railway) and frost on the bedclothes in the morning was not unknown. We had it tough.

OroPaidio

WEBSITE

Hi everyone! We are a team of educators from OroPaidio Education & Art Centre founded by Andriana Tavantzi, that fosters freedom of expression, collaboration, emotional and artistic cultivation, interaction, experimentation and experiential learning. All members of our team are trained in Lakis Kouretzis’ model onTheatre Pedagogy which resonates strongly with A.S.Neill’s and Summerhill School’s philosophy and practice. Some of the most profound shared values and approaches are equality, free and natural play, incidental learning, self-awareness and the focus on social and emotional development. We promote the importance of these ideas and mentalities for new generations and for humanity through working with pupils and adults of all ages and vulnerable groups; delivering educational programmes for schools; trainings for educators and other professionals; and collaborations with national Education Department, universities, charities and NGO’s. We have had the pleasure and privilege of visiting Summerhill, playing, interacting and co-creating with Summerhill pupils through theatre and art workshops. We will always love to come back to the place where the craziest dreams seem to be so natural and real…

Woodwork/Metalwork

WEBSITE

For nearly one hundred years the Summerhill Woodwork/Metalwork have provided a space where children of all ages can create, learn, listen, laugh, build or just be...