We are creating a school where each of our students can be themselves…
The need that is so keenly felt for a reform of secondary schools concerns not only an educational, but also a human and social problem. This can be summed up in one sentence: Schools as they are today, are not adapter neither to the needs of adolescence nor to the Times in which we live.
Maria Montessori „From Childhood to Adolescence”
Do schools respond to the needs of young people? Do they adapt the program to the interests of the young person? Do they strive to implement curriculum issues regardless of students’ expectations? Do the assessments determine the real worth, abilities, talents or potential of a young person? Can studying under the threat of bad grades give satisfaction? Isn’t the immersive digital world, social media, virtual life, an escape from judgments, frustration, loneliness, the need to prove one’s worth?
One conclusion can be drawn from the observation of young people. There is a need and a longing for authority. Social media, communities centered around computer games, as well as other, feigned, false sources of knowledge and acceptance take time, suppress needs and sensitivity, but they do not give solace, do not help in finding friendship, do not answer the questions bothering a growing man.
The questions multiply, and the solutions do not come.
One thing is for sure. The environment surrounding young people is crucial for their proper development. It should also be a support for parents, whose role in the life of young people is the most important and is the basis of values, tradition and safety.
The environment surrounding young people, apart from the family, is primarily school. The most important peer relationships are established at school. At school, we are looking for answers to questions. From school we have memories, anecdotes, stories that accompany us throughout our adult lives.
What form of education best shapes a person, gives the best results? The answer is clear. It is practical education. Education through independence, through work, through the practical use of encyclopedic information.
With such education in mind, we have created the School – Farm. Farm School Białka is a school built entirely on the assumptions and values of Maria Montessori’s philosophy.
The “Work & Study” program – Work and Learning, as the main assumption of Maria Montessori, gives teenagers not only excellent interdisciplinary education, but also real life experience related to learning, everyday duties at home and on the farm, cleaning, laundry, cooking, managing the household budget, they also gain financial independence through work, sale of products they produce, vegetables, honey. They learn it from us: teachers, specialists, household members and from each other.
What does a day at the palace in Białka look like?
We get up at 6.30, do morning chores, cook together in Mrs. Maureen’s kitchen.
We eat 4 meals a day together, because sharing food is sharing life. We start the school day with attention to appearance, prepared for work and new responsibilities. We go to the swimming pool, we play ping pong, baseball, football, badminton, we practice boxing and many other sports. From 17.00 we start an hour and a half of free time, including board games, painting, crocheting, reading or just talking. Sometimes we organize movie or sports nights with football matches. Depending on the needs and willingness, we spend time together or individually. 18:30 evening duty. At 19:00 dinner, after which, around 20:00, the rest of free time begins. Depending on the age and needs of our students, there is a quiet time from 21:00. At 22:15 we turn off the lights. 11:00 p.m. is bedtime.
Is learning a duty? It is, above all, a privilege, a right to education. It’s the same with work. Working is a privilege for many people. We combine both of these privileges and teach respect for both.
My name is Ela Zendel, I am an employee, one of many builders of the first school in Poland – a farm. Montessori Farm School Folwark Białka.
I have been involved in this project from the beginning. Every day with mindfulness, heart, passion and faith that we have established the best school for youth aged 11/12-17/18 in Poland I watch our students learn, work and grow up. They become more and more responsible and sensitive.
We are creating a school where each of our students can be themselves. We equip our students with tools to help them grow up, mature and enter adulthood.
We want each of them to cope, regardless of whether they become the best surgeon in Poland, the president of a bank, a carpenter or an artist whose works will be exhibited in galleries around the world.
I think that Montessori Farm School Folwark Białka can be responsibly called a forge of future managers, directors, visionaries, but the fulfillment in life is not only evidenced by professional success. By providing our students with appropriate models of conduct, values and authorities, we want Farm School Folwark Białka to remain in their memory as a safe, inspiring and valuable place where they were prepared to start their adult path. Welcome to Montessori Farm School. Welcome to Białka.