What is Cyclical School?

Contact Limited - Local - Accessible - Sustainble - Scaleable


Cyclical School is our innovative response to the issue of re-engaging pupils in education post-lockdown. It builds a bridge between the home-based learning that has been going on in 'lockdown' and the full-time provision that schools cannot make safely while the COVID-19 virus is still in general circulation during stages 3-4 of the government's COVID-19 threat level model. Essentially, it is a contact-limited, local, accessible, sustainable, and scalable solution to the issue that school buildings cannot handle the whole student population until there is a vaccine for COVID-19.

Cyclical School works because:

  • it allows schools to function at 40% of their capacity (every pupil attends 4 of the 10 days per fortnight) with structured study while pupils are between the Engage and Evaluate cycles.

  • it is flexible and can respond to anything that might reduce the ability of the school system to operate at full capacity (e.g. 'flu epidemic, loss of use of part of the building, staff illness, or staff shortages).

  • It can even be 'stopped' and 'started' at short notice if you label the days from Day 1 to Day 10. For example, say you have a 'snow day', you simply declare it to be a Day Zero and then pick up where you left off before the disruption happened. INSET Days, holidays, and weekends are Day Zero, too. 

  • it is pedagogically sound, built on the 5Es Learning Cycle (Dewey and Kolb) and the concept of the Spiral Curriculum (Bruner, 1960).

  • it is enhanced by but not dependent upon technology  - on Engage days, pupils without Internet access can be given printed materials to work with.

  • it promotes both independent study and collaboration between students and educators as students work together to solve real-life problems rather than learning abstract concepts and facts by rote (Kuh).

  • it is an approach that borrows from the idea of intermediate technology in Development Studies, in that it provides a stepping stone to something better in due course.

  • it looks to organizations such as health clubs, whose memberships far exceed the number of people who could use the facilities at any one time.