Ethos and Aims
Ethos and Aims
Bruderhof Schools are dedicated to the central principle that every child is a thought of God. Education is the art of nurturing the innate divine spark within each child and helping him or her to become the person God intends. We seek to provide each child with a happy and constructive childhood in which they develop their capacity to love by caring for and serving others.
Each Bruderhof School is established in a Bruderhof community. Darvell School is part of the Darvell community in Robertsbridge, East Sussex; Beech Grove Junior and Seniors Schools are part of the Beech Grove community in Nonington, Kent. The Bruderhof is an international Christian church community dedicated to the discipleship of Christ and the proclamation of His coming Kingdom. Members of the Bruderhof devote themselves entirely to an integrated life of service to Jesus Christ that includes work, worship, apostolic mission, education and family life. All staff, students, and parents at Bruderhof Schools acknowledge the church order of the Bruderhof (described in Foundations of Our Faith and Calling: The Bruderhof (2012) (“Foundations”)) as the basis of school life.
Bruderhof Schools are an integral part of their communities. All students and staff participate in the religious life of the community, especially during religious festivals such as Advent, Christmas, and Easter.
Bruderhof Schools aspire to educate the whole child. Rigorous academic instruction in a broad range of subject matters is generally provided during morning sessions, with the core subjects of language arts, history, maths and science at the centre of instruction. Our approach to academics emphasises the skills and knowledge that will empower our students to prosper in whatever path of life they undertake. Teachers maintain high expectations of their students, regardless of ability. Small class sizes allow teachers to provide individualised attention to each student. We seek to instil a love of learning and to inspire students to take ardent interest in the work of God throughout history and in the social, political, and cultural movements of our time.
Academic instruction is complemented by broad co-curricular provision in the afternoon session, which provides an opportunity to teach the skills of personal initiative and productive use of time. Activities include training in craftsmanship and practical skills; singing and the arts; unstructured play and sportsmanship; [work experience opportunities in local businesses]; and bushcraft and appreciation for the natural world. An extensive school garden allows students to develop sense of ownership by seeing the results of their hard work provide food for the School and the wider Bruderhof community. Service activities, such as visiting elderly and vulnerable neighbours, or fundraising actions to support disaster relief work around the world, instil compassion for the less fortunate.
Our approach in the Kindergarten and early years emphasizes the importance of learning through play (influenced by the writings of German educator Friedrich Fröbel).
Teaching the skill of learning is a major focus. Digital technology can distract from this focus; accordingly, the use of computers and the internet for classroom teaching is generally limited to those lessons where it provides real pedagogical value, or where it is required for on-going education e.g. by distance learning.
Bruderhof Schools are established to serve children of Bruderhof members, and our students come primarily from within the Bruderhof community. In general, students who enrol in a Bruderhof School continue at that School or another Bruderhof School through the 12th grade.