09 Sep Charlotte Church plans to turn her home into free private s…
SINGER Charlotte Church plans to turn her home into a free private school where she will teach music to kids from “all walks of life”.
The former Voice of an Angel wants to “liberate” 20 pupils and has lodged plans to create classrooms at her home in Wales.
The 33-year-old said: “Since I’ve had kids I have become much more interested in education and child development.
“We started looking at schools and different mainstream options available to us.
“It started to become apparent that mainstream is struggling with underfunding and overcrowding – teachers are incredibly tested.”
The school in Dinas Powys in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, will be non fee-paying and will educate children aged between nine and 12.
We’re trying to create something really based on all the evidence – everything we know about how humans learn
But Charlotte faces a potential planning row as neighbours raised fears over noise and traffic.
The idea is part of Charlotte’s The Awen Project – which she hopes will grow into a charity setting up other independent schools.
The first year of the school we be in a temporary two story annex of Charlotte’s home before a permanent site is found.
Pupils would be given a say over the rules, how they want lessons to be delivered, what food they eat and and how they travel to school.
And Charlotte also plans to teach music to the pupils.
She said she has been on a “massive research mission” for 18 months, visiting schools – including Sands in Devon and private school Eton.
She explained: “We’re trying to create something really based on all the evidence – everything we know about how humans learn best, at what stage do children’s brains develop to take in different types of information.
“We see a lot of people feeling completely disengaged or don’t feel that they have a voice, or that their voice matters.”
Charlotte said she will send her two children to the school which would have pupils from “all walks of life”.
Pupils would study for qualifications such as GCSEs and BTECs, but Charlotte says the school would “still have lots of creative freedom”.
We see a lot of people feeling completely disengaged or don’t feel that they have a voice
Welsh is not currently planned to be taught as a subject – but the pupils would learn the language in a ‘Welsh kitchen’.
She said: “I totally believe in the transformation of the whole education system and I think it’s possible. I want to play an active part in making that change.”
Charlotte says the new school has not yet been registered but schools regulator Estyn has been positive.
Vale of Glamorgan Council is set to make a decision on the plans this month.
Neighbours have complained to the council about the running of a minibus to and from the school.
Dinas Powys Community Council also objected, claiming the new school would be “detrimental to the character of the neighbourhood”.
Charlotte says she wants to discuss the plans with the community.
She said :”It’s going to be 20 children on three-and-a-half acres of garden – it’s not going to be an issue.
“We want to work with the community if there are any problems, which I very much doubt there will be.”
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