Soulcraft

This is our self-directed, consent-based learning community for electively home educated young people, which shares Soul Farm’s spaces. Though Soulcraft is an education project of the farm, it is a separate entity.

We’re dedicated to collective learning through infinite play, quiet inquiry, collaborative problem solving and projects in all their forms. Organised around encouraging young people to practise making real decisions right now, we prioritise emotional wellbeing as well as social and environmental justice, and we work together to create meaningful learner-led experiences.

The project has emerged from Soul Farm’s understanding that holding space for people to grow is a vital form of earthcare because we are all part of nature and because the way we treat the environment is rooted in the way we treat each other. The farm’s vision is to connect Cornwall’s diverse local community with the earth’s growing cycles and is aligned with our commitment to collective responsibility. We are also a tech positive organisation, recognising gaming and other forms of virtual play as highly dynamic ways of learning through living. This goes hand in hand with our commitment to land stewardship and nature connection.

Soulcraft runs three days a week from 10am to 3pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We meet in a large barn with electricity and a wide range of resources, and have access to a field that Soul Farm is gradually converting into a market garden.

As an Agile Learning Community (ALC) our days are carried by a reliable rhythm with community meetings that your young person commits to participating in, “offerings” (activities or workshops offered by facilitators, visiting resource people and young people supported by facilitators) and visual tools that help support people of all ages as they move through the learning cycles of intention, creation, reflection and sharing. You can read more about the ALC model here.

Email Adele at info@soulfarm.co.uk to join our waiting list and to book a taster session.

 

 

Our facilitators

 

Adele Jarrett-Kerr (she/her) is the founder of Soulcraft Learning Community, a home educating parent of three, a writer and the social impact lead at Soul Farm. She has a background in creating and supporting community projects that focus on personal wellbeing and social justice as well as rights-respecting activities for home educated young people. She has an MA in Early Modern Literature and Culture, grounding in dramatic arts, and gets such a buzz from facilitating book club, history, theatre and creative writing offerings at Soulcraft. Adele writes and speaks on the connection between colonisation and education, and hosts a podcast on community called Revillaging.

Her own young people led her gradually into self-directed learning as she began to trust herself and trust them. Once she fully grasped this approach to life and learning as demonstrably sensible and socially responsible, she realised that families choosing self directed education need to be plugged into consent-based communities to make the most of this way of living and learning. Hence the drive to create a learning community. She loves encouraging people of all ages to think about what their “soulcraft” might be – whatever they find fulfilling on a deep level. For her that’s creative writing, singing and connecting with the Earthbody.

Adam Westerman (he/him) is a multidisciplinary artist, a parent of a three year old, the director of Morsky Studio, a cofounder and Lead creative Artist and Developer of the Cornwall-based games design company Studio Somewhere. He has a background facilitating workshops in games design and art, as well as in youth work. He has a BA in Animation, a HND in Game Design and an MA in Entrepreneurship, and loves hand-carved printmaking, watercolour painting, and any other nerdy craft he can throw himself into.

He believes learning comes from a genuine wonder and curiosity towards a subject and that nothing beats the personal discovery of realising that for yourself. He doesn’t view learning as a linear process but keeps an open mind to the path that his own self directed learning takes him on: “I won’t often sit down and read a textbook from start to finish but learning old ways to make some traditional pottery might unlock a new way of understanding software architecture.” Not one for focusing too hard on one thing, Adam also counts skateboarding, whittling wood and climbing trees among his passions.

Anna Robinson (she/her) has been engaged by Soul Farm to guide Soulcraft’s land-based offering, connecting both projects’ commitment to human care as a form of earthcare in our Farm Wednesdays. She is an experienced educator and a contemplative spiritual writer, who leads retreats and writes and records audio meditations and reflections for a podcast. She was the co-director and one of the founding members of the Green House Education Project for six years, where she developed the project’s educational approach, focusing on nature connection, the outdoor classroom, self directed, project based learning, social emotional literacy and conflict transformation skills, amongst other things. Prior to this she worked as a secondary school geography teacher and, before that, as a TA and learning mentor in challenging schools. She has home educated her two daughters from the start, allowing them to learn through play and curiosity.

Anna is passionate about creating cultures of wellness where all people can thrive and grow and feel they belong. She loves to curate space for people to slow down, connect with themselves, the world around them and beyond them. She’s often outdoors, foraging, cold water swimming and making space for many forms of creativity, painting, playing the piano, singing and drumming. She comes alive seeing young people being fully themselves and sharing their passions, and she loves to read, study, learn and grow.

 

Who can join Soulcraft?

We currently have spaces for young people ages 8+, with a particular focus on the 11-13 age range. We have a group in this range who look forward to welcoming others.

How much does it cost?

Our fees are paid monthly as a percentage of the term on a sliding scale of £25/£35 per day.

If you are a higher income family, we ask that you consider supporting the community by paying £35 per day to help us build our bursary fund, invest in a richer experience for all of our young people and secure the sustainability of our project.

If you are a low income family and cost is an issue, please contact us to join the waiting list and let us know. We are actively working on ways to make Soulcraft more accessible.

We are keeping the cost as low as we can. So we rely on parents and other caregivers volunteering through seasonal work days – think potluck and farm jobs or building management or on an ongoing basis. This is particularly vital while Soulcraft is so young and needs to co-create spaces with your families.

We also ask that you volunteer your time, skills and interests with our community. Perhaps you could work with a facilitator to give an offering in football or Photoshop, for instance. Maybe you know someone in the local (or online!) community who could share their skills with us.

When you book your taster session, in addition to the cost of the day (£25) you will also need to pay a non-refundable administrative fee (£15 per young person or £28 per family for multiple young people) as an investment in this community project. However, we don’t want this to be an obstacle for anyone – please talk to us if you really can’t afford it.

When we come to a mutual agreement that Soulcraft is a fit for your family (after the taster session and at final enrolment), we take your first month’s payment secure your young person’s place and arrange a monthly payment plan with you by direct debit through GoCardless.

How many days do we have to commit to?

We are currently only accepting applications for 2-3 days so that we can devote our energy to developing trust and relationships, have more time together to pursue ongoing projects and create a stable community. In our pilot stage we have accepted one-day applications but going forward, families must commit to at least two days to honour the vision of the project.

Is there any scope for whole-family involvement?

Yes! There are opportunities for volunteering as explained above but we also look forward to family discos, picnics, sports days and seasonal feasts. We will also offer online family workshops via Zoom on key topics for our community such as consent-based conflict resolution, gender equity, LGBTQ+ issues, anti-racism and, of course, self-directed education. Details to follow!

 What about safety?

All of our facilitators are DBS-checked and trained in safeguarding as well as paediatric first aid. At least two facilitators will be on site at all times and we aim to keep a ratio of one adult to seven young people. Soulcraft is insured with Naturesave. We are closely following government guidelines and best practices for safeguarding, child protection, health and safety, media safety, data protection, COVID-19 procedures and inclusivity as pertain to out of school settings.

 

Have a question we haven’t covered here? Email adele@soulfarm.co.uk for more information