Frequently Asked Questions

General

Why did you build a new school?


We could ignore that the world is changing faster than ever, yet our education system is not - and hope that our kids will cope. We could ignore that our world is unsustainable - and hope that our kids will have a great future. Or we can do something about it. We decided to create a new school because our kids need very different need skills, mindsets and knowledge to thrive in 2030 and beyond than what the current school system could help them gain. The world also needs a very different generation than what our education system could provide. It needs positive change-makers, social entrepreneurs, scientists, leaders and artists who can and want to do something about the challenges our world is facing. REAL School's mission is to raise a generation of social entrepreneurs who can dream and build a more beautiful, equitable and sustainable world for themselves and for all living beings.




What does your mission "REAL life learning for a sustainable world" stand for?


“Real life learning” involves students finding their passions, developing their skills and learning about our world and themselves in real-world settings. We believe that the best way to prepare for the real world is to be fully engaged with it now. “For a sustainable world” stands for our ultimate ambition of helping our learners build a healthy future for themselves, their communities and the planet.




What does REAL stand for?


REAL stands for: Relevant, Entrepreneurial, Art-filled Learning.
When you imagine a day at REAL School Budapest you should imagine kids learning through hands on, real life projects that are relevant to them, turning creative ideas into reality, with lots of art and music.




Why and how is REAL School Budapest different?


REAL School Budapest challenges some of the fundamental premises of mainstream education: Qlick here for a bigger picture.




How does REAL School Budapest contribute to our shared sustainable future (and present)?


Everything we do contributes to our shared sustainable future and present. We are nurturing creative, critical thinkers, collaborative problem solvers, and joyful members of society, who are aware of themselves and strive to make a positive impact in their communities through real life learning projects.




I have more questions. Can I come talk to you?


Of course. Please message us at admissions@realschool.eu. We welcome our community members for a discussion. If you live far we can arrange video calls to talk.




How can I stay in touch and receive more information?


Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter and check out our Youtube channel for information, inspirational articles and specific news. You can also sign up for our newsletter here.





Community

Is REAL School Budapest for me?


As a KID, joining the REAL School Budapest means learning through real life projects, and following your curiosity. As a PARENT, you will be with like-minded people who equally and passionately care about the world's challenges. And as an EDUCATOR, you will have the freedom to design engaging learning experiences and bring them to life, with a great purpose. If this sounds exciting, then yes, the REAL School Budapest is for you!




How do you think about the role of the educator?


The role of the educator is changing. To support a transformative learning experience which includes inquiry and experiential learning opportunities, REAL School Budapest educators are mentors, co-learners and coaches who create a community where their passion for learning is contagious. External professionals - including parents - are also involved in the learning experience, to provide opportunities for in-depth inquiry into their fields of expertise.




What will be my role as a parent?


REAL School Budapest is based on community, so we would love for you to get involved. We invite you to participate in our community events, do projects in the school with the kids, connect with other parents, or share and teach your passion, whatever that might be. We welcome parent initiatives for community building purposes.




How will you ensure diversity at REAL School Budapest?


Diversity lies at the heart of sustainability. This is why we have a dedicated diversity catalyst on board who is fully and exclusively focusing on building a diverse community. We have a tailor-made scholarship program based, and we are working with NGOs and inclusivity experts to help us do this well.




How will REAL School Budapest design school policies?


Our school rules are designed together with our kids. This is essential: true involvement in the community comes with being able to participate in and negotiate the policies of how we coexist. True agency means having a say in and shaping the way we function. Co-designing our rules with our students is an intrinsic part of their learning.




Do you plan to open a high school as well?


Yes, indeed, it is our plan to open a high school as our students reach that age.




Who are your educators?


Our lead educator is Noan Fesnoux: Our team of educators are passionate learners from around the world who bring their love of exploration to our school. Currently we have 8 different nationalities in our team. We also recruit young and enthusiastic teachers who are embedded in the culture and language of Hungary to ensure that we are connected to our local community as well.





Admissions

How can I apply?


You will find all the info on our admission process here!




What types of documents do I need to apply?


You will find all the info on our admission process here!




Is there an entrance exam to get into REAL School Budapest?


Not an entrance exam, but we would like to get to know you well during the admission process so that when you enroll we can hit the ground running. We will ask you for your basic details and previous school experience, we will invite you for a meeting/discussion/interview and we will also ask you to participate in a fun and creative set of activities together as a family and the kids individually.




How much is the application fee?


All fees are available in the Fees Schedule on the Admissions page




Are children with learning differences and special needs welcome at REAL School Budapest?


We currently do not have staffing provision to accommodate children with special needs, severe learning differences or behavioural issues. As the school grows, our intention is to create a diverse community that would be a safe environment for students of all abilities, but at this stage, this is not the case.Please contact us to discuss any special needs at admissions@realschool.eu.





Learning programme

What does real life learning mean?


Through real life learning, kids spend time in real life settings, not just in the classroom.. Kids will study and solve real problems that are relevant and have an actual positive impact on the world. Content and knowledge doesn’t get lost - it reaches learners through these projects. This is a community-based and entrepreneurial form of learning, through which attitudes, skills and knowledge enable us to turn creative ideas into action. Check out our brochure for more information.




What does sustainability mean for REAL School Budapest?


Sustainability lies at the core of all that we do. It is clear that unintentionally educating for unsustainability makes no sense, if we want humanity to flourish over time. Education for Sustainability as a pedagogy implies that we are intentional about preparing students to participate in the shift toward the future we want. We are building a community of educators who are united in their desire to cultivate individual and collective potential and to increase the possibility that humans and other life can flourish on Earth now and into the future. We refer to the UN Sustainable Development Goals when we consider challenges with which we engage and use the sustainability compass in our learning.




How much time do we spend at school?


REAL School Budapest starts at 9 am with half an hour community time, filled with lots of fun and music. In case you have to rush to work, we will take care of your kid(s) from 8 am (if you have special needs, do not hesitate to get in touch with us). We also welcome you to stay with us for a coffee or even longer. We end the day at 3:30 pm or 4:30 pm with the possibility for extensions.




What does a school year look like?


The school year starts on 26 August 2019 and finishes on 26 June 2020. Please consult the REAL School 2019/2020 calendar for details.




Which curricula is learning based on?


In education, a curriculum (/kəˈrɪkjʊləm/; plural: curricula /kəˈrɪkjʊlə/ or curriculums) is broadly defined as the totality of student experiences that occur in the educational process. Consequently, we refer to a number of curricula to guide our learning:
Foundational skills and knowledge: British National Curriculum Projects: The Circular Design Guide and the Design Method Toolkit Sustainability: Cloud Institute Wellbeing: Contentment Foundation Digital IQ: DQ Institute




What about accreditation and the school’s legal status in Hungary?


We are working with COBIS on our international accreditation, and with the Hungarian authorities on the School's Hungarian accreditaion. We expect to obtain these for the 2020/21 academic year. If you have any questions regarding accreditation, please contact us at admissions@realschool.eu.




What kind of activities do learners experience most days?


Learning is organized around how the students approach the material, the competencies and skills addressed, and how the learning journey is charted. No more forced curriculums. No more one size fits all. Community - A time for building relationships, social-emotional engagement, mindfulness and rituals, such as gathering for songs and music. Excursions - A full day out in nature or in the city, exploring, playing and getting our hands dirty. Foundations - Time to work through Maths, build stronger writing skills, discuss latest readings, and get exposed to key concepts in Sciences. Our World - A wholly integrated learning experience and exposure to our world and culture. Check out our answer to the “Do you teach subjects?” question as well. Entrepreneurship - Real life project work for 21st century skills development, following consistent design processes with real impact. Extensions - Opportunity to continue project work, or join language, art and music experiences, or game clubs and sports. Learn more about the learning experience through our Facebook page, Youtube channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter.




Do you teach subjects?


The world is complex and we cannot learn about it in 45 minute separate and artificial subjects. Learning is an integrated experience at REAL School Budapest. Instead of subjects, we explore the complexity and wonder of our world through a holistic approach and real life projects. Learn more about the learning experience through our Facebook page, Youtube channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter.




How will my kid learn the basics?


The best way to learn maths, reading, writing, and digital literacies is for kids to know why they are learning them and to apply them in real world settings. Our Foundations units provide the opportunity for kids to practice core numeracy, literacy and digital skills through high quality online and offline learning. Then these skills are applied in Our World and Entrepreneurship units.




Are kids grouped into grades based on age groups?


We believe in multi-age groups as young people learn best when working together with others. ​The groups are flexible, based on the learner’s needs and the learning form. Might we add here that in no other place in life and society are people grouped by their age.There are significant benefits of letting go of this unnecessary concept of age segregation in schools.




Will there be grades?


There will be no grading. Instead, each kid will own a portfolio of all the things they have created. We are also working on integrating new report cards, like the Lumiar Digital Mosaic. In addition, we will provide structured reflection, ongoing feedback and community exhibits, which are a great way to see the progress of learning.




How many kids will there be in a group? How many kids for one educator?


As a rule of thumb, we will have 7-10 kids per adult. However, the number of kids in a group depends on the learning form. We also believe in the added value of co-teaching - this way, learners get exposed to different views and personalities and have the possibility to learn in smaller groups within their own multi-aged group.




What is REAL School Budapest’s position on technology?


Digital literacy is no doubt crucial to thrive in the 21st century. Our goal is for our learners to have the competencies and critical thinking skills to be proficient with digital tools and emerging technologies. We refer to the DQ institute curriculum to facilitate this journey. This helps us minimize the risks of technology and maximise its opportunities. We will not be hanging on screens all day, and will minimise the presence of smartphones, unless for specific exercises.

At the same time, we value that life is analogue. We strive to engage our learners in extended offline activities involving only our community, our environment, books and physical objects.
“The way we teach, the things we teach are from past 200 years – it is knowledge based and we cannot teach our kids to compete with machines. Machines are smarter. We have to teach something unique that a machine can never catch up with us. “Everything we teach should be different from machines.” - Jack Ma on technology and education




What is your approach to playtime?


Free play is perhaps the truest form of agency for a young person. During playtime children become creative masters of their environment and learn to collaborate, create, and experience the joy of learning. Our flexible schedule allows us to design each day in a way that free play is balanced with an individual’s desire to be a constructive member of the community.




How much time in a school day will be spent outdoors?


We love the outdoors! Connecting with nature is the first step for education for sustainability. We are looking for a site for the school where kids can have free play and exploration for a fair chunk of the day. We plan to spend Mondays getting out on excursions and exploring.




What do you mean by student agency?


Student agency is at the heart of learning. It gives students voice and choice in how and what they learn. It results in activities that are meaningful and relevant to learners. It is driven by their interests, often self-initiated with appropriate guidance from teachers This website is devoted to illuminating these principles as they apply to schooling and to life.




What languages are spoken at REAL School Budapest? Will you teach Hungarian or any other spoken language?


REAL School Budapest is predominantly an English-speaking community. Depending on the community's needs, there might be opportunities to learn other languages during extensions. It will also be possible to learn Hungarian, through immersion into the local culture or additional lessons.




How will REAL School Budapest deal with kids of different English language abilities?


We know from experience that children usually acquire a good standard of English in a fairly short period of time when immersed into a predominantly English-speaking community. Most of our current students are fluent in English, which makes it easier for non-speakers to pick up the language faster, but we do give perference to those who have fluency for the benefit of the whole student community.




Is there homework?


We believe in limited home learning, but kids bring home family projects from time to time. This helps them to learn time management, and involve the family in their learning.




How do you handle conflicts?


We use restorative justice practices. The goal of these practices is to restore and heal conflicts and strengthen relationships. Resolving conflicts this way nurtures self-reliance: a skill we want to see in our learners.




Are children with learning differences and special needs welcome at REAL School Budapest?


We currently do not have staffing provision to accommodate children with special needs, severe learning differences or behavioural issues. As the school grows, our intention is to create a diverse community that would be a safe environment for students of all abilities, but at this stage, this is not the case.Please contact us to discuss any special needs at admissions@realschool.eu.




What if I need a transcript after REAL School Budapest?


When continuing studies elsewhere and applying to another school after REAL School Budapest we will be able to provide a transcript if required.




How can my child be transferred from REAL School Budapest to another school in or outside of Hungary?


We have found that kids are incredibly adapting. Moving from an environment where you are respected, have a lot of say about your own learning, and do great projects into a more traditional school is not necessarily fun, but it’s certainly possible. We are happy to cooperate with you to help make these transitions go smoothly from an administration point of view, including providing transcripts if needed.




Can I receive a high school diploma/érettségi in Hungary?


We aim to have an answer to this question once we start our high school. Our general philosophy is that our students will be able to set their own goals and achieve them, including taking the érettségi if this is what they wish to do. We are not designing our learning experience for the Hungarian state exam though. Our goal is to empower our kids to go to international universities if this is their chosen path.




Will REAL School Budapest help me get into university?


Yes. Our kids learn about themselves and find passion through their REAL School Budapest experience. It is important for students to be in charge of their options, including their choice of university, if this is the right next step for them. The REAL School Budapest learning programme promotes core skills and mindsets that universities and employers seek in the 21st century.





Environment & facilities

Where is the school located?


After months of research and countless location visits, we have found a place which is almost like the forest within the city that we have imagined for the kids and the community. Combining the best of what urban life and nature can offer, REAL School is at Óbuda, right next to the Danube river, at the southern end of Graphisoft Park.




What kind of food does REAL School Budapest offer?


We have created our own plant-based school lunch menu with the help of a renowned vegan chef. It is prepared fresh on site, in the restaurant right next to our school. Veggies grown in our own urban food garden are already making their way to our plates. Developing awareness of our relationship with food is crucial both to personal well-being, and to that of our planet.




What is wall-less-ness? Does it mean that the school will have no walls? What will you do in the winter?


Wall-less education is meant both physically and literally. Physically we will have large spaces and opportunities for interactions, important outdoor spaces, and time spent in nature and the city. The concept of wall-less-ness also applies to taking out the barriers among subjects, age-cages, the differentiation between learner and teacher, and people of different cultures and backgrounds.




How do you ensure the balance between quiet time and the more noisy wall-less environment?


Teaching and including mindfulness is an integral part of a day at REAL School Budapest, and this allows for the opportunity to step away if one needs it. We understand that some of us are more sensitive than others and we encourage to have self awareness to recognize and mitigate difficult moments.




How do you envision outdoor education in Hungary when most of the school year is during cold(er) months?


Environmental literacy is not dependent on climate. Children can learn about soil enrichment, lasagna-gardening, permaculture, indoor, hydroponic and many other alternative agricultural methods even during wintertime.





Finance & ecosystem

How much does the school cost?


Being part of the Real School family is a big decision, with many factors to consider. An important element of this decision is the financial commitment. Please consult the Fee Schedule for tuition fees, terms and conditions for the 2020/21 school year. Please note that fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change.
Information on tuition assistance to support a socio-economically diverse community will be published shortly.




How will the school be accessible to families who can’t afford the tuition?


The scholarship program is based on the support of our founding families and sponsors. Our current goal is to have 10% of the first cohort of students come from difficult financial backgrounds and we plan to gradually increase this proportion further down the road. We aim to provide a wide range of possibilities for those who wish to participate as donors.




How can I contribute to REAL School Budapest?


As a not-for-profit enterprise in its inaugural year, we appreciate financial and in-kind contributions. Please reach out to us at joinus@realschool.eu.





Policies

What policies does the school follow?


On this page you will find a list of our policies governing each of the matters listed below. These policies have been adapted to our environment from best practices of international learning communities from around the world.
1. Welfare 1.1 Safeguarding Policy 1.2 Whistleblowing Policy 1.4 E-Safety Policy 1.5 Administering Medicines 2. Behaviour 2.1 Behaviour policy 2.2 Anti-bullying policy 2.3 Staff Code of Conduct 2.4 Attendance Policy 2.5 Exclusion policy 3. Operations 3.1 Safer Recruitment Policy 3.2 Admissions Policy 3.3 Complaints Handling Policy 3.4 Disability Policy 4. Curriculum 4.1 Curriculum Policy
4.2 EAL Policy





REAL School Learning Nonprofit Ltd.

Ángel Sanz Briz út 13

1033 Budapest, Hungary

https://g.page/realschoolbp

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