“A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to find out who and what you are!” (student participant)

Saturday Satya is a co-curricular programme, originally designed and created in 2007 as part of the Eton-Slough-Hounslow Independent & State School Partnership initiative and Eton College’s Wisdom Project, with the support of the GHFP.

Satya is a Sanskrit word for ‘truth’ or ‘ultimate reality’ and refers to the virtue of being truthful in one’s thought, speech and action. Saturday Satya is a series of Saturday morning sessions in which a group of young people from diverse backgrounds are challenged and guided to explore their understandings of themselves, others and the world around them in more empowered and nuanced ways.

Saturday Satya supports students’ whole-person development and growth, enabling individuals to strengthen a sense of themselves and to gain an appreciation of others and their different perspectives. The programme’s activities enable the students to develop self-conceptions and personal identity through building understanding in three interrelated areas:

  • Understanding oneself: Students are more able to see themselves in new and more positive ways, such as feeling more confident and more creative, with a more positive self-image. 
  • Understanding others: Students get to know and understand individuals from different social and cultural backgrounds, which in turn helps them interrogate or develop their own perspectives, including learning to develop attitudes of acceptance and respect for differences.
  • Understanding one’s own orientation within the wider community: Students are enabled them to explore cultural roles and their own socio-political and religious orientation within or outside of these contexts.

In supporting the development of students’ self-conceptions and personal identity, the programme offers rich opportunities for students’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural (SMSC) development, as defined within OFSTED guidelines. 

Human-centred pedagogies embedded in the programme’s activities and the teacher-mentors’ practices play a pivotal part in supporting these learning opportunities and in creating rich and safe learning spaces:

  • A Pedagogy of Care: This involves the cultivation of genuine, human relationships between teacher-mentors and students, built on trust, respect and care. This approach to relationships, alongside an open and ‘no-right-answers’ approach to learning, helps to create safe and nurturing spaces where young people feel able to explore and examine their own and others’ ideas and perceptions without fear of failure or judgement. This ethos of the Saturday Satya is enriched by the teacher-mentors’ willingness to listen deeply to the voices of students and to care for and respect their individual needs.
  • A Pedagogy of Whole-Person Engagement: The activities of Saturday Satya are rich and diverse, engaging students on many different levels, and thereby supporting their whole-person development. Some activities engage students through their physical senses, some challenge them through their intellect and some invite them to explore their emotional landscapes. Still others engage their creativity and imagination and others prompt them to be reflective or encourage them to be contemplative.
  • A Pedagogy of Presence: Through meditative practices, silence and stillness, and activities which give students opportunities to bear witness to each other’s experiences, they are enabled to be truly present to the here and now. By leaving behind the pressures and anxieties of home and school life, and being able to engage fully with their experiences within the sessions, students are empowered to learn in engaged and meaningful ways. The teacher-mentors embody this presence, allowing themselves to be truly available to students, rather than ‘performing’ the role of a teacher.

In this way, the Saturday Satya’s pedagogical practices enable the teacher-mentors and students to live values which are fundamental to young people’s well-being in education.

The Saturday Satya programme provides participants with significant opportunities to learn and develop holistically, strengthening their sense of who they are and promoting an openness to otherness and an appreciation of diversity. The pedagogies of the programme feature respectful, caring, imaginative and open-minded approaches which help create safe spaces and enable students to explore different aspects of themselves and engage with others’ perspectives.

If you would be interested in developing Saturday Satya or a similar programme with young people in your school or area, please do get in touch via the website.

A Child’s Garden of Peace (ACGP)* is a collaborative effort to create gardens where children can play in peace. Children, parents, teachers and other members of the school community take part in developing the garden together. Once established, children will continue to work with others in nurturing the garden, learn to care for the plants, and grow food for themselves and their families. It is an excellent example of HCE in practice as it locates learning within community relationships and thereby enrich these relationships and in the processes of caring – caring for children’s learning and well-being, caring for the flourishing of the community, and caring for nature.

The GHFP sponsored the garden project (el huerto) in Puebla, Mexico. This is a collaboration with the Fundacion BP Casa Cuna Palafox y Mendoza, a child care center serving poor families with children aged 0 to 5. The garden is fully integrated in the daycare centre’s educational activities. The project engages children in all aspects of the garden, including composting food waste from the kitchen, planting vegetable gardens, herbs and fruit trees and collecting and making food. Young children learn first hand about the food they eat and explore the life cycle of nature.

*A Child’s Garden of Peace is founded and directed by Dr. Illène Pevec

On Wednesday 20th March, our HCE team in Brighton welcomed local Well-Being Leaders and Coordinators from across Brighton and Hove to join us for a twilight seminar on “A Whole School Approach to Well-Being in Secondary Schools“.

well-being_treeThe seminar offered an opportunity to explore and share good practices on well-being and inclusion and to make links with local colleagues. We began with an inspiring keynote from Professor Colleen McLaughlin, Director of Education Innovation at the University of Cambridge, to spark discussion and raise pertinent questions, followed by facilitated open dialogue and sharing, through which participants will be encouraged to develop a rich understanding and awareness of critical issues relating to student (and staff) well-being in secondary schools.

The event was free to attend, sponsored  by the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace (GHFP), a Brighton based international think-tank dedicated to promoting well-being and whole-person learning. The GHFP is also the sponsor of the Human-Centred Education Programmes.

If you would be interested in attending or hosting a similar event in your school (or another setting!), please do get in contact via our website. We work with diverse teams to develop professional learning opportunites that are tailored to the needs and interests of the group, faciliating open dialogue spaces where staff can explore ideas and ask critical questions.