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Buckminster High School in Bruges (ages 10-18)

in development

Project in Development

BC

As of today the Buckminster High School, is still –proudly– a vision, not yet fully materialised but already boldly alive. Goethe noted that ‘boldness has genius, power and magic in it’ and we could not agree more. Every day we can see this power at work: magnetising brilliant minds, ideas, and resources. To receive notifications about the advancements of the school project please subscribe to the BC Gazette.

Progress Update

BC

We are aiming at September 2024 as the starting date of the first school year. For the first year of the school’s operations we will admit up to 54 students born between 2014 (if twice accelerated in the primary school, or homeschooled with primary school requirements completed) and 2010. The full capacity of the school (144 students) will be reached gradually within the first 2-3 years.

In the 2023-24 school year Buckminster College will be offering a Springbok trajectory for ages 11-15. This ‘school secondment’ programme is designed to be combined with a regular school enrolment, allowing to substitute regular school Wednesdays with intense online learning engagements and to bring our Learners together every month for travelling sessions (3 days * 8 sessions/year). The Springbok trajectory is a multi-year programme, extendable per semester.

To explore the full-time Buckminster High School curriculum (starting from September 2024) and the Springbok trajectory (starting from September 2023) join the Buckminster Wide Open Even on November 21 and November 28!

Vision

BC

Buckminster College offers an independent, part-boarding/part-remote international high school curriculum for ages 10-18, based in Bruges, Belgium.

The curriculum is suitable for Students whose learning styles and needs demand interdisciplinary big-picture thinking and require a psychologically savvy holding environment. The comprehensive Buckminster curriculum is academically demanding and designed to guide the cognitive development of our Students along accelerated, asynchronous, and divergent learning trajectories.

◦ Acceleration means: learning faster and more than the trajectory of the institutionalised educational environment was foreseeing,
◦ Asynchronicity means: developing different cognitive capabilities along differently paced trajectories and, in result, finding matching peers in several different age groups simultaneously (for example designing chemical experiments with 16 years olds while playing with dolls with 10 years olds),
Divergence means: developing learning interests and styles which are different than the socio-emotional environment expects and is prepared to support.

The key features of the curriculum design are explained below:

 

Part-boarding/part-remote

The 6-year-long curriculum is composed as a full-time blend of the following three integral components:

      • immersive residential sessions in Bruges: one 4-day-long stay organised in every two weeks;
      • remote interactive days on all non-residential working days, blending screen time with hands-on body-engaging activities coordinated via ‘audio-sync’ voice-only interaction;
      • individual monthly reading assignment bundles of a progressively growing length and complexity. 

The design of one two-week session is accessible here. One school year consists of 18 such sessions.

 

Comprehensive

The curriculum consistently addresses various dimensions of cognitive development in adolescence, integrating knowledge into big-picture, systems-thinking and complexity-science frameworks, and combining the academic instruction with extensive training in socio-psychological skills, physical wellbeing, character development, hands-on craftsmanship, and artistry.

 

Multilingual

The school adopts (international) English as its working and instruction language while offering the French- and Dutch-speaking variants of all Humanities-oriented classes.

The first year of the curriculum allows for an immersive language acquisition of English (if needed), combined with intense training of the socio-psychological capabilities and communication skills. Training in French, Dutch, and German as a second language is provided at all proficiency levels (420 hours in total in the duration of 6 years). The classical languages (Latin and Greek) are taught as an integral part of the International Baccalaureate DP curriculum in a 150h long trajectory.

It is required that upon graduation all Buckminster students are fluent in at least three out of four languages: English, Dutch, French, and German.

 

International

While remaining respectful and appreciative towards all identities and backgrounds, the curriculum is not oriented at the reinforcement of any national affiliation. The half-boarding formula of the school organisation allows for the enrollment of Students from all the Belgian language communities, as well as the Netherlands, France, UK, or any other country (or sailboat!) from which commuting to Bruges might be reasonably feasible on regular basis.

 

Intellectually demanding

The academic structure of the curriculum is designed to exceed the competency requirements foreseen by the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme and  the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, allowing for a smooth transition to any Higher Education institution in the world.

However, the school is committed to refrain from treating the ‘checkpoint compatibility’ aspects of its educational provisions as its end goal and its overarching raison d’être. We believe that human beings, and humanity at large, must grow up beyond the stage of being hypnotised by assessments, measures, and frameworks. These are of course valuable and necessary and they are there to facilitate and coordinate. But they must not be mistaken for the goal of human development at any stage of life. The BC High School curriculum requires that each student will be taking all the necessary partial International Baccalaureate assessments and exams not once, but at least twice (with no pre-set maximum number of attempts), with the first one taken minimum a year ahead of when it is actually due. This design of the curriculum aims not just at the satisfactory conclusion of the exams, but much more importantly, at the development of a constructive and confident attitude towards all kinds of thresholds of societal advancement awaiting our graduates in their lives ahead.

 

Trajectory-based

The  curriculum is composed modularly, with multiple elective combinations and speeds, allowing for the maximal extension of the individual accelerated, asynchronous, and divergent trajectories of cognitive development.

 

Independent

The school is established as a private, non-subsidised, non-governmental activity, carried out in the legal form of a Flemish non-profit organisation (VZW – Vereniging Zonder Winstoogmerk) by a group of researchers and alumni affiliated with the Postgraduate School of Thinking VUB.

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