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Information about free and democratic school Donum Felix

Donum Felix (“Happy Gift”) is a private free democratic school registered by the Czech Ministry of Education and providing basic education from  1th to 9th grade (to kids 6 – 15 years old). School is situated in the centre of Kladno, 30 minutes by bus from Prague metro station Veleslavín. School is ready to accept English speaking children starting September 2018. A precondition is an identification of potential student”s family with school concept and also a willingness of a pupil to gradually learn Czech language.

School language is Czech. At the same time, we have always at least one native speaking staff member and English is used also by most of the other school community members, both kids, and adults.

We are a member of the European Democratic Education Community (EUDEC). We cooperate with free democratic schools in Europe and our major partner school is Sudbury Democratic School Jerusalem.

School concept

School values and approach can be characterised by following points:

  • Full trust in children and their positive inner program and inner motivation
  • Freedom and responsibility
  • Mutual respect, quality of relationships and open communication
  • Age mixing
  • Natural learning and autonomy of learning
  • Democratic decision making procedures where kids have the same voice as an adult, common development and implementation of school rules
  • Conflict as an opportunity for personal growth, Non Violent Communication (NVC), mediation
  • Cooperation and mutual help

The mission of Donum Felix is to provide children basic education through natural learning based on trust and inner motivation.

School vision „we are and we growth together“ express our main intention – to create safe, authentic, democratic and inspirational environment for free development and learning of all school members – children, teachers, volunteers and external members. This is why we speak about Donum Felix also as about a learning school.

Our educational motto is: “I do not know where you go, however, I want to help you to discover your unique journey and support you on it”. It is based on our major value – trust. On trust that kids are competent people with their own „inner program“ for a unique saturated life. In a safe and inspirational environment, kids can follow their personal learning needs and among others to discover who they are, what are their unique talents and how to develop them, how to learn and how to live a meaningful life. In our school kids are supported in taking responsibility for themselves and their decisions, which is the other side of the freedom coin.

If the kids do not lose their inner motivation, they learn by all what they do. A teacher can be a fellow in play and discovery, a partner in a project or can lead more traditional teaching activity depending on individual educational needs.

Speaking about the well-known schools similar to Donum Felix, we can be seen as close to the model of Summerhill school in the UK known also from the movie of the same name. For more information on free democratic schools see a blog Freedom to Learn written by a child psychologist and a research professor on Boston College Peter Gray or our own articles published on a website Little Panda.

An organisation of a day

School operates Monday – Friday 7:30 – 17:00. Formal educational starts at 8:30 and ends depending on age of a child. In the early morning and in the afternoon there’s a school club open for all children.

On Tuesdays, we often go for trips and excursions. Participation in these trips, is similarly to all school activities, not compulsory.

Facility

The school facility is located on address Petra Bezruče 3087, Kladno is a light building with a big garden. The building consists of different rooms including an atelier or music studio, under construction is a workroom. You can see a few pictures of the building here. We also use a local gym and a swimming pool.

Tuition

Tuition depends on the formal status of a student – if she or he is registered for education in the Czech Republic and if the school can receive a governmental support for this student. In such a case the annual tuition for one child is CZK 36000,- and can be paid in monthly installments of CZK 3000,-. This minimal tuition fee is low by purpose in order to not limit composition of the school community and school welcomes payment of a higher “donor” tuition on a voluntary basis.

Food

Lunches are being brought into the school daily from an external provider on subsidized costs of about CZK 30-35 depending on the age of a child. These lunches are of a standardized school quality. Own food arrangements are possible.

This year, the school community established a cooking team which prepares vegetarian lunches for interested people each Friday.

Application

In case you are interested in exploring the possibility for your kid to attend our school, please, send a message to Lucie Dobešová on email: lucie.dobesova@donumfelix.cz and include your telephone number in order to arrange a personal meeting.