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Escola das Cerejeiras/Cherry tree school

40°02'22.5"N 8°20'45.0"W


Our vision is an educational project, a school, where children will access the skills and confidence they need to be happy and fulfil their true potential both academically and as a human being, contributing towards a more compassionate and peaceful world.


We are allowing the children’s true potentialities to emerge as opposed to feeding their minds with old ideas, in the hope of achieving a real human evolutionary leap.

We believe that children need the natural world and that it looks after them. They are biologically designed to be in it and therefore thrive by being in intimate, everyday contact with it. It provides the most generous and powerful learning environment, with great affordance for child-led learning and development.

We understand that feeling happy is a child’s inborn natural state, but this understanding is often clouded by ignorance, and our education approach stimulates freedom, allowing happiness to emerge.

Our educational philosophy recognizes the interdependent nature of all life. This inspires the ethic principle of non-harm that informs all aspects of our curricula. We pay particular attention to developing children’s capacity to grow as kind and wise individuals, who are empowered by the view of universal responsibility in how they shape their world and coexist with others. We will support our education community; staff, students, families and other members, with skills development on how to facilitate peaceful communications and conflict resolution, reflective practices and emotional learning.

The project provides an education for children and parents who want to live a life where happiness is the overriding goal. We believe that a child's unique interests, talents, learning styles and goals should influence his or her education and that is why we offer different teaching approaches. Teachers are aware of children's' in-born potentials, and they construct activities and the environment to facilitate learning experiences that release these potentials.

Children in our project gain a better understanding of themselves, others and the surrounding world through practising mindfulness and meditation, enabling them to achieve calmness and increased focus in their lives. Our children are encouraged to connect with the earth, understand its rhythm and yield produce from it.

Through the different teaching styles we offer, and a focus on human rights and serving others, our children will have a strong understanding of their role as global citizens, empowered with the skills to actively serve humanity.

Treasuring the magic and openness of childhood, primary age students’ mastery of academic skills is nestled in a friendly, supportive environment in which both academics and personal growth are woven together into a fully integrated whole. Students experience knowledge as a natural part of their lives and develop a foundation for a lifelong love of learning.

Pupils are given ample opportunity to engage in their own learning process through self-directed activities and project work within a carefully prepared environment. This environment encourages learning through specifically designed materials as well as through imaginative play. Here the teacher becomes the guide, supporting the child’s individual learning journey.

Education will be bi-lingual with Portuguese and English being the main languages but with other languages also used for children who do not speak these languages initially. Teachers will be dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child. Even seemingly dry and academic subjects will be presented both through short individual ‘lessons’ or in a pictorial and dynamic manner using art and storytelling, depending on the occasion. The children will be encouraged to explore, and to take risks. Teachers will document children’s learning continuously in order to provide a link between the school and the community and to allow the child to celebrate his/her learning journey.

Children will take part in short meditation sessions several times a week and will be shown how to connect mindfulness with regular daily activities such as eating, working and playing to support the development of patience, compassion and self-awareness. In meditation children become aware of their thoughts and how rapidly their mind moves from one thought to another. This daily practice is encouraged over the long-term just like healthy eating and exercise.

Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. By integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or adventures further afield, we will provide relevance and depth to the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors. The ‘outdoor classroom’ will be just as important to us as the indoor space.

The imaginative play and beauty of the primary years enables our children to meet our wonderful and complex world with compassion and hope. Learning will be strongly centred around themes of peace, justice, diversity, and sustainability. This foundation will lead to a richer academic middle and high school experience that supports the children in realizing their full potential as students, people and members of the community.

The Space

The space within the project is considered the third teacher. An atmosphere of joy will be palpable from the moment children step foot into the school. Walking through the indoor and outdoor spaces, you will hear the cheerful buzz of children and find a community in the true sense of the word – children who are learning to care for one another and care for the space, which creates a feeling of “home”. Not only is the physical environment calming and beautiful, but the sense of community provides security and stability for the children. Different learning areas will provide multiple opportunities for learning such as: exploration and concept building - science and numeracy, language and literacy, music movement, artistic development, garden, farm, etc. There will also be free places for children to rest or create whatever they wish, as well as ‘communication friendly spaces’ to encourage talk. The space will contain multi-sensory, natural materials to support imagination, self-directed learning and the development of independence. Children will be encouraged to make use of the outdoor environment as much as possible.

As entrepreneurs of a new civilization, we wish to build our community around the education of the next generation. Our children will face many challenges that our society is creating for them. We aim to provide them with the right tools to overcome these challenges, to develop creativity, self-sustainability and integrity while having fun.

Students, families and staff of all and no faiths are welcome to join the project community. We hold with the view that a multiplicity of spiritual traditions are apparent in the world, and that they all need to be respected because plurality of religious and spiritual traditions shapes people’s dispositions and aspirations. We encourage opportunities to cultivate understanding and mutual respect through interfaith dialogues and events, as foundations for an inclusive and harmonious society

Respect for all Life
Human Rights
Academic Integration
Global Citizenship
Serving Others
Sitio Web:
Correo Electrónico:
Teléfono: +351239551197

Características del contexto

Tipo de Entorno: Contexto rural | Contexto comunitario |
Nivel socio-económico: Clase media
Cantidad de personas / estudiantes: 0 a 30 personas

Aspectos económicos

¿Tiene fines de lucro?: Sin fines de lucro
¿Tiene reconocimiento oficial?: Sin reconocimiento oficial

Aspectos institucionales

Tipo de educación: Educación informal | Educación no formal |
Nivel educativo: Infantil o inicial | Básica o primaria |
Titulación: No entrega título oficial
¿Es un proyecto virtual o "a distancia"?: No
Inicio de actividades: 2016

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