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 

Evangelos Vlachakis

WEBSITE

I am passionate about the arts, nature and the physical environment in the context of democratic education. I believe in the balance of human intervention with the natural habitat. I consider myself an enthusiastic and knowledgeable naturalist keen to develop biodiversity. I am a long term enthusiast and keen researcher of natural learning and self directed education.I like to combine my skills in media with my practical life skills in order to inform my diverse background and share my knowledge. I care for the holistic well being. In this respect A.S. Neill's ideas have been inspirational and following Summerhill as a sustainable model is of prime importance to my work as an educational freedom activist.

Korogonas Ark

WEBSITE

We have been congruently working and researching holistic & experiential learning, for every age, since 2003. Empowering teachers, parents and every person who interacts with children towards honouring global human values, peaceful living, personal awareness, own authentic self, collective well-being has been an important focus of our work. Korogonas Ark is a project/place of community living, holistic learning, peace food & consumption, regeneration of the land, holistic health, creativity, re-connection with the wisdom of life, spirituality, whole living, serving the narrative of the Story of Connection.

Wiebke Winkelmann

WEBSITE

In my study to become a teacher i read A.S. Neills book and knew that i will not work in a regular school until my workingtime-end, so i´m a teacher at democratic schools now for a long time. I trust in a childs self-directed learning, in freedom and change of the whole world into a better place with democratic education.

Piyush Jain

Potterhead, Educator, Cook, Poet, Katha India, Teach For India Alumni, Empath, Grateful, Self-Aware, Happy Soul, INJF Professionally I am an educator, and this journey of being an educator has once introduced me to Summerhill in 2016. I was awestruck. It seemed like everything in school can come alive similar to something we witness in the movie The night at the museum. Thereafter, whenever I speak, research and explore education to children, teachers, fellow educators I can only speak of democratic style of schooling. I did start a small school with a purpose to bring alive democratic schooling alive in there. It just stayed with us for one year. We did incorporate ideas of choices to indulge in activities and sitting idle if one wants to. It was altogether a lovely experience. One can check our work @cartwheelschool on instagram. Summerhill has to lead me to other alternative schools around India. And I am still in love with the idea of democratic and open schooling. It has been the longest relationship I have been ever yet. I am not sure, but it has brought immense behavioral and mindset change towards my own life-style choices too at a sub-conscious level.

Alexander Khost

WEBSITE

My father handed me a copy of _Summerhill, A Radical Approach to Child Rearing_ when I was sixteen. Twenty-nine years later my own three children all lead self-directed lives, I am the editor of a magazine about Self-Directed Education, I work at an unschooling center... in short, Alexander Sutherland Neill and Summerhill (and my father for having given me the book) have entirely and wonderfully altered the path and passion of my life and the lives of those around me.

Warabe Tatekoji

A Summerhill parent &ex-Summerhillian. Just love everything Summerhill!