The Small School in Hartland

Visit to the Small School

Driving from Totnes to Hartland, over the misty Dartmoor felt like flying through 4 seasons in less than 3 hours’ time.

Eddie and I arrived at Hartland at 11am with a great wholehearted sunny welcome and were kindly received at the Small School by a newly appointed head teacher Louise Hopkinsons. We were offered a cup of herbal tea by two lovely school girls who later on give us a tour around the small school. We shown around the classrooms, photo studio, computer room, music balcony, kitchen, big dining room, beautiful backyard with fresh vegetable garden and a climbing tree.

Finally we entered a buzzing classroom with 8 school children and Louise. We quietly sat down and joined the lesson. What an inspiring Friday lesson it was; discussing about emotions, feelings, and how to deal with them in and outside the school. Comments coming from 11 year old ones were incredibly mature and wise.

They should not be forgotten; hence I have captured a few of them in a short video you can find and watch below.

After some time we headed off to the kitchen and helped peeling apples for a desert. Lunch was being prepared by one of the parents and 2 school girls. It was pasta day and everybody was looking forward to the moment, when we all sat down at the table and started eating together, like one big family. School felt like home and I have truly felt that feel, which was often mentioned by the children.

Lunch was a bit delayed, but not a big thing; we were well entertained by Eddie and two other boys, playing music on drums, bass and electric guitar.

After half an hour we moved down the stairs to the dining area, said our grace and received a wonderful, nourishing, locally and organically grown food cooked with love. After we finished our second portion of delicious desert Wendy suggested to run out and climb up the tree. It was a perfectly climbable tree and the sun decided to cast few more spells and make the playful break even more enjoyable.

At two o’clock it was time to continue the class.

That Friday was a special day; a cherry blossom tree planting day, which Louise was gifted by her former staff members. We were all participating in decision making process, walked around the grounds to find the best spot for the cherry blossom tree.  Decision was made mutually, we all had a say and everybody was happy with the final choice.

This tree was planted with much love and respect; it will grow strong and one day it will offer its branches so we can humbly climb up again and see what a wonderful world it can be.

Thank you Small School! You may be Small by Size but you are surely great by Heart.

We couldn’t leave without saying hello and goodbye to the vast, blue Atlantic Ocean, soaking in the sun, filled with glitters as far as eyes can see!

The road took us back home along the setting sun and rising moon over the rolling hills of Dartmoor.

A good day, full of inspiration and hope!

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