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Home educators want to add Cogs to the learning system

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CHILDREN could soon have a third school option, enabling those who may feel anxious at States schools to be educated at an alternative learning hub.

Cogs founders Chantelle Lovering, left, and Becky Ogier. (Picture by Danielle Kenneally, 26358064)

Cogs – Character, Opportunity, Growth, Success – is the brainchild of its founders, Chantelle Lovering and Becky Ogier, who want to set up a third school option, alongside conventional schooling at schools and colleges and home education. This would aim to enable youngsters to be more creative and innovative.

Their intention is to create a project-based learning environment that could be aimed at children who may not fit in at school, said Ms Lovering, who has home-educated her musically-gifted daughter for the past seven years.

‘This is a new initiative that we want to set up as part of Guernsey education,’ she said.

‘We aim to offer the solution to parents who may be unable to home educate due to lack of time, money or confidence, a further option to an education that may not suit every child.

‘It has the potential to create an innovative third way into the learning environment, alongside either school or home education.

‘We have a number of experienced home educators with a diverse skill set, who all love learning, that would come together to meet the needs of the growing number of people that call us to ask for an alternative to the standard methods of teaching.’

The model is based on a school in San Francisco called Brightworks, which looks at early childhood education and hands-on, project-based experiential learning that aims to break the conventional walls between school and the community outside the classroom.

‘They have tools and hardware on the walls, yet there’s never any accidents because they’re trusted,’ said Ms Ogier, who has been involved in home education and tutoring since 2012.

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‘Obviously there’d be health and safety, but they’ve found that if there are no restrictions then children learn so much more.

‘They become more grounded and well-rounded because that fear is taken away about what they shouldn’t be doing and showing them their initiative is their best asset.’

The group is looking into obtaining charitable status as it raises funds to take on the initiative and is looking at securing a building to take it forward.

‘It would be really helpful to us to have somewhere that we could put this on,’ added Ms Lovering.

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‘There are so many empty buildings in the island that would make a great space.

‘Whatever the young people in the island want to see and learn about, we want to provide that for them.

‘For example, if they want to play computer games all day, then OK but they need to create them themselves – we want to encourage them to be themselves.

‘We want children to become the best that they can be, which could be through practical application to help with qualifications.

‘Guernsey needs to realise it’s time for something new to achieve this and Cogs would be able to provide that.’

Danielle Kenneally

By Danielle Kenneally
News reporter

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