Science in the bedroom, geography in the living room - the south's first 'micro school'

yoga in living room hove micros school
Yoga club runs in the living room once a week Credit: Hove Micro School

In an ordinary house in the middle of a residential street in Sussex a quiet revolution in education is under way.

The South's first so called "micro school" opened just over a year ago and currently has just 18 pupils on its roll. 

It's proving popular with families looking for an alternative to mainstream classrooms.

WATCH Christine Alsford's report here:

Run out of the founder's home, pupils can be learning science in the converted bedroom one minute, and geography in the living room the next.

It offers a "halfway house" between home education and more formal schooling. Pupils attend for between one and four days a week up to the age of 11.

Rachael Ammari has set up Hove Micro School in her home Credit: ITV Meridian
A science lesson at Hove Micro School in a converted bedroom Credit: ITV Meridian

"We're much smaller," said founder Rachael Ammari.

"We're set in a home environment.

"They wear their own clothes but they are also getting the expert teacher input that they would in mainstream but on a smaller scale.

"I am slowly getting pushed out, but I love what it's turned into," said Rachael, who was inspired to set up the school after seeing micro schools in America.

  • Rachael Ammari says the micro school allows children to flourish in their own environment

In the USA, groups of parents buy in tutors to teach groups of home educated pupils in private homes so they can split the cost. 

Rachael has flipped the idea so students come to her house instead.

It means she has now converted the living room, dining room and an upstairs bedroom into classrooms.

A lack of outdoor space means that PE takes place in a local park once a week and there are lots of day trips out.

Many of the pupils also do a lot of outdoor learning on days that they don't attend the micro school.

  • Five year old Leo's parents Emma and Mark, say they love the informality of the micro school

"I love the fact you don't have to sit looking up at a board - you can read a book on the sofa with a cushion," said Emma Poppenborg.

Emma and her husband Mark say the school is working out well, with Leo making good progress in English and Maths.

Children do art in the living room of the Hove micro school

For pupils like Frances, age 9, it's also proving ideal.

"I don't like schools with loads and loads of people," she said. "I like having just a few people in the school."

All the staff at Hove Micro School are qualified teachers. The school is currently awaiting its Ofsted inspection.