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 

Poppy Olympia

WEBSITE

I was a pupil at Summerhill for 5 years. I couldn't imagine a childhood without it. My memories within the school grounds are memories I will forever treasure. Relationships built aren't just friends, they're family who I will undoubtedly grow old with. A.S.Neill's philosophy taught me an invaluable amount about myself. "The real world" was scary at first, but the techniques, values and ideas Summerhill had will forever be a part of me.

Henry Readhead

Hey everyone I am a grand son of A.S.Neill. I am presently a member of the management team at Summerhill along with my mother Zoe and brother Will. I was a pupil at Summerhill for all my younger years and ran the music department there from 2002 to 2012.

I get invited all around the world to do talks about Summerhill and A.S.Neill's ideas of education and this is the area of most interest to me. The sharing of Summerhill experiences and supporting others to implement our methods or by supporting them with theirs. In it's most simple form, Summerhill represents a very pure, natural and individualised childhood, allowing children to develop at their own pace and find their own interests, ambitions and life path. But these methods aren't as simple as giving freedom, although the fundamental goal is to create a system that allows children to be safe and free, and to remove all expectation.

I have visited lots of amazing places, met inspiring people doing wonderful things in education and for me it strengthened the fact that A.S.Neill's values of education need to be implemented across education globally for a more humane and sustainable world.

sue clutterbuck

Hi All, hard to remember back, but all our kids ended up at Summerhill and I was a parent there for about 15 years +? As a family we were very much involved with the big political time of Ofsted protest and the whole taking the Dept. of Education to court for our rights to be upheld and respected. Massive issues here and memories of children sitting all over the courtroom, on the floor, benches and the judges seats being taken over by Summerhill Big Kids. Big learnings around sharing parenting with the school in a dynamic and opening way. Like swimming naked in the pool and always staying afloat, no matter what was thrown at the school, our kids and us parents. Have now lived for 18 years in another community in the north of Scotland, Findhorn. Looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating how deep and honest human beings can be with each other.

Brigid McGinn

Reading A.S. Neill & learning more about Summerhill inspired my path and my role in children's lives to be the most humanitarian respectful and creative as possible.

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…

Aditi Chandra

WEBSITE

I am Aditi, founder of Nisaba, an education initiative aimed at empowering children to learn. I strongly believe that every child is naturally curious and eager to learn more about the world. I created Nisaba to give every child the freedom to explore, to question facts and become an active participant in learning. I want each child to discover the magic of science in her own way. To make learning fun. Because it is! What motivates me is the joy on a child’s face as she unravels a new mystery. I want every child to experience this joy. Summerhill and Neill's ideas continue to inspire me and have been a massive influence in both my life and work. One day, I hope to start a school in India where children can be free.