A SCHOOL neatly side-stepped tiered classes, learning outcomes and league tables.

It took a well-earned break from distinctions for teachers and pupils, adults and children. In the weeks leading up to the festival, the A SCHOOL group developed a unique curriculum, by working together to decide what and how they’d like to teach and learn. Then they took over an empty shop, cleaned, painted and kitted it out ready to open their their week-long school to all who walked through its doors. Their very full timetable looked a bit like this:

Fortball – A team sport created by the SCHOOL group. We build a cardboard box fort and work to destroy the opposing team’s construction. Lively.

Reactions – A series of experiments are tested in our custom-made booth using domestic apparatus and ingredients. Explosive.

Fair Trade Fotos – We shoot a roll of black and white film and develop the photos using coffee and vitamin C. In our toilet-dark-room. Blurry.

Martial Arts – A warm up leading us through basic martial art moves. Kicking.

Make-Your-Go-Kart – We build a go-kart from scratch in groups. Constructive.

Test-Your-Go-Kart – We test our creations on a hill near A SCHOOL. Wheeeeeeeeee.

Utopian Cheerleading – We champion utopian concepts through the medium of acrobatic dance. Hopeful.

9/11→ Current Economic Crisis? – We draw a Post-It map of our pooled knowledge of these two recent events, searching for links. Topographical.

Life Story –  A volunteer tells the story of their life so far, followed by a Q and A session. Nosey. 

McDIY – We make our own burgers and fries and eat them together. Tasty.

Cube Cola Factory – We follow the recipe of the folks from the Cube cinema in Bristol who cracked the code for wildcrafting cola. Fizzy.

Gameshow – In teams, we answer a series of unanswerable questions. The audience decides which answers they like best. Prize and forfeit included. Quizzical.

Bring-Your-Own-Zoo – We unite our pets and visiting creatures to form a zoo.Careful.

Auction – We sell off the contents of A SCHOOL to the highest bidder. In pennies. Capitalist.

Graduation Ceremony – We say goodbye. Ritualistic.