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Coed Cariad Learning Community

A New Democratic Learning Environment in Carmarthenshire, Wales.


play : freedom : equality

Coed Cariad is a nature based, child-centred learning community where children are able to direct their own learning primarily through play and collaborative projects. Democratically run, everyone collaborates equally to create a nurturing space where children are free to learn and grow in their own time.


Our vision is to create a learning community based on the joy of learning and discovery. A place where each child is nurtured and encouraged to become their best self. We aim to create a learning space where children and parents feel heard and nourished within a rich community environment.

We will strive to provide an environment where the facilitators can hold a space for children, providing experience and resources to meet the children's needs. A space where children are accepted just as they are and where they feel happy and free to be themselves.

Children will be free to play and develop a connection with nature and so the physical space will be mostly based outside with warm and safe indoor retreats. There will be time for quiet contemplation with no pressure to be object or results driven, with space for wild play, adventure and exploration and making mess. With love, the facilitators will trust each child to find their own way whilst standing alongside them so that they are able to shine their brightest and develop their own individual sense of purpose and passion.

The happiness of all is of primary importance for this is what we know will facilitate the best learning. We are equal, children and adults, different in our roles and responsibilities but nonetheless equal in our influence to shape our community. We will nurture a culture of respect for ourselves, practicing empathy, compromise, cooperation and decision making.

We aim to offer a learning space where children can:

Develop their communication and leadership skills by being empowered to take an active role in the day to day running and the development of the community.


Develop their critical thinking, presentation and debating skills by being encouraged to question, reflect and problem solve independently and in groups


Develop their interpersonal skills and self-awareness through being part of a democratic community where inclusive and respectful communication is modelled and reflected on.


Develop their resilience and confidence by being allowed to experience, manage and overcome risk.

Coed Cariad will do this by

Ensuring the importance of freely chosen play and learning activities


Our Facilitators being highly skilled at supporting children to create a safe and nurturing environment


Providing opportunities for children to engage in a wide range of activities designed to allow them to practice personal, learning and thinking skills.

Democratic Education
& Self-Directed Learning

Democractic learning spaces allow children to grow in confidence and practice lifelong skills of cooperation, negotiation, compromise and advocacy. Empowering children to work together with adults to create and run their own learning community ensures their voice and freedom to participate on their own terms and in their own time.

Self-Directed Learning is characterised by the freedom to pursue your own interests and passions at your own pace. Through the process of prioritising, establishing learning goals, working on real life challenges and reviewing the whole process, children experience a an authentic learning experience. Skills and qualities essential for 21st century life and work; creativity, innovation, leadership, self direction, communication, critical thinking and social responsibility, are all practiced on a daily basis in a democratic and self-directed learning environment.

Coed Cariad is part of a growing movement of child-centred democractic schools and projects across the UK and wider world. To find out more see the following links from these facinating umbrella organisations:

Alliance for Self Directed Education - www.self-directed.org
Pheonix Education Trust - www.pheonixeducation.co.uk
European Democratic Education Community - www.eudec.org

© 2018 Coed Cariad, All Rights Reserved