About Our Dream School and BLIC

Why is it called ‘Our Dream School’?

Our Dream School is a concept designed by a global community using crowd-sourced momentum to build a fresh vision for learning. Drawing on a network of over 100 pioneer schools worldwide and a diverse team of thought leaders from all sectors, we have literally built our model around the visions and experiences of these global leaders. Barcelona Learning Innovation Community (BLIC) is the first manifestation of the ODS concept, a first step in a journey towards meaningful and positive change.

Who is BLIC for?

BLIC is currently aimed at learners from 10 onwards who seek an alternative to the traditional academic experience. We seek learners who wish to engage in an innovative, personalized way of learning that will last an entire lifetime. BLIC learners are ready to become actors and not spectators in their education.

Is BLIC like a Montessori School for older children?

We celebrate and incorporate Maria Montessori’s self-designed philosophy, but we are not a Montessori school. Our students learn and work at the rate that is most appropriate for them, and they use the latest interactive technologies, hands-on projects and learning methodologies to explore their interests and pursue their life’s passion.

Is BLIC a school?

BLIC is a learning community with shared high standards for all of its members. BLIC has been designed by a global community using crowd-sourced momentum to build a fresh vision for learning. Drawing on a network of over 100 pioneer schools worldwide and a diverse team of thought leaders from all sectors, we have literally built our model around the visions and experiences of these global leaders.

About the Program

How does BLIC organise its learning?

Learning is clearly about learners. People who want to grow and develop their capacities, competencies and skills. BLIC organises its learning by placing the needs of the learner at the heart of the model. Learners will thrive when they experience a functional, positive community. As Learning Guides get to know their learners, relevant learning experiences are designed and/or co-created with the learner. Out of this collaboration and dialogue, quests will be created that become the focus of the learner’s wider learning journey for a defined time.

At the same time, Learning Guides are observing the learners and through this, or perhaps with the use of specific diagnostic tools, any gaps in core concepts will be isolated and an individual intervention program developed in order to keep the learning personal. Where there might be a common gap in experience or understanding, workshops will be developed to support the learning program.

How does learning happen at BLIC?

Learners will typically experience the following activities most days:

  • Learning occurs best when young people experience a positive and functional relational environment. Each day starts with a focus on self-awareness, personal growth and group cohesion (Real Talk).
  • The next session targets core concepts that need to be developed and relevant for each individual learner.
  • The following session (Genius Hour) builds the skills relevant to a learner’s passion project. Learners can organise to develop their skills via attending scheduled workshops or perhaps work by themselves following a co-created learning plan.
  • The way learners grow most is via their personal Quest. A Quest is a project that will take a longer period of time to complete. Learners are guided at first if self-direction is not as strong, but as they become more independent, they are encouraged to create their own projects using their project management skills. A Quest needs to meet established checkpoints as it progresses.

The final output for learning will always have a creative component, as the learning programs at BLIC aim to strengthen everyone’s creative capacity.

As often as possible, learning is linked to the wider community – drawing from experts who might accelerate learning or viewing places or projects that might inspire deeper understanding.

Are all my Passion Project materials included?

All budgets must be approved by a Learning Guide. Creativity and sustainability are important to us. As such, costs must always be creatively kept to a minimum and the use of recycled materials is preferred. If a learner requires more than 40€/month for materials, then we will co-create a fundraising plan for that money, focusing on a spirit of entrepreneurism. 40€/month is not a given for every learner. Some projects will require it. Others will not. Being creative and frugal are admirable virtues.

Do you teach subjects?

The idea of subjects (disciplines) has been around for a long time. Thinking around mathematics and science date back from Greek times. The industrial model of schooling added in the notion of multiple separate subjects, all taught in isolation from each other. Since the advent of the internet, human knowledge has expanded exponentially. And at the same time, the lines between subjects have become increasingly blurred. The challenge for every society is to solve life’s complex problems - and they cannot be solved by people who think in linear ways.

With the focus on core concepts, skills and competencies, BLIC draws from knowledge linked to multiple subjects. In some contexts (depending on the learner), core concepts for numeracy, literacy or other areas need to be understood as building blocks to deeper learning and skill development. When it comes to integrating knowledge, BLIC designs and/or co-creates projects and quests that draw from multiple traditional subject areas, developing the capacity for creative problem solving and other key competencies.

Are learners grouped into grades?

We believe that young people learn best when working with others that perform at a similar pace. We do not believe in dividing groups based on age. Learners join with a group based on their capacity as independent (or interdependent) learners. Thanks to our personal approach to learning, we find that students of different ages can work together constructively and productively.

Learners at BLIC are allocated to one of three programs:

  • Young people who first need to grasp how to focus on a topic and work towards a goal. Part of the focus for this group is on how the brain learns and why we act the way we do.
  • Young people who are motivated to learn but need guidance as they move towards more independent self-directed learning.
  • Young people who are self-directed, motivated and independent learners.

Are children with learning differences and special needs welcome at BLIC?

BLIC is for young people who are passionate about learning and wish to engage in a lifelong process of self-discovery and contribution to a better world. We welcome all learners who are committed to this vision, including those who have learning differences. BLIC may recommend intervention programs from external providers, if in the opinion of the Learning Guides, such an intervention would be beneficial. Learning differences need to be assessed professionally and parents are required to share any reports, recommendations or plans. Learners with specific behavioural issues will be required to engage in long term and outsourced counselling support, in order to maintain membership of the BLIC learning programs. BLIC is not the right community for any learner who has little or no desire to become an independent learner. BLIC learners who wish to develop stronger lifelong learning habits find their learning opportunities at BLIC highly rewarding.

What languages are spoken at BLIC?

BLIC is a predominantly English-speaking environment that responds to groups of learners that would like to conduct a certain number of activities in another language. For example, learners can divide into language groups to participate in our morning discussions around important community topics such as standards, trust and problem resolution. In this way the same conversation, facilitated by our Learning Guides, might take place simultaneously in Spanish, English and Catalan at different points around the Centre.

About Credentials

Will BLIC help me get into university?

Universities are changing so rapidly that it’s difficult to imagine what a higher education will look like in the next 5-10 years. Our goal is to prepare you to shine in the real world, whether or not you choose to go the university route.

At BLIC, your project and performance portfolio combined with important critical thinking skills will allow you to go directly into the career path of your choice, first through internships and then through entry-level positions for which you will have been very well prepared.

University entry is starting to change all around the world. Some universities require standardised test results. Others are creating new ways of entry, based most commonly on portfolios and interviews. While we do not offer standard accreditation for universities, we will help you engage with online accredited secondary school and bachillerato programs should you decide to do so.

Can I receive an ESO certificate?

BLIC is a community of learners, not a traditional school. As such, it sits outside existing systems. This is deliberate, as we will not accelerate the development of new learning models from within the system. However, BLIC is totally focused on developing the capacity of learners in their understanding of core concepts, skills and competencies. We want learners not only to love their learning experience, but also become passionate in areas of special interest. If families see the Spanish ESO Certificate as still relevant, then BLIC would recommend that they choose a traditional school. If you are more inclined to follow a combination of more future-relevant learning, as well as gaining an existing credential, then a number of BLIC learners have balanced attendance at BLIC while undertaking an online school course and credentialing via international options.

About Costs

How much does BLIC cost?

The BLIC tuition is 8.000 euros paid in 10 monthly instalments of 800 euros (VAT included). Tuition is paid from September to June.

Afternoon programs at BLIC are priced on a program-by-program basis. Pricing information for these programs is available on the website.

Is there financial aid?

All members of the “Build It With Us” cohort will receive a waiver on their one-time deposit of 800 euros when they register before July 31, 2018. In addition, a number of sponsored memberships will be available to reward learners who have a proven record of creativity, hard work and achievement.

Can I come for a visit and a tour?

Please come by! BLIC is a highly personal and unique space. We want to be sure that we are the right fit for you. We also hold regular Open House events where learners and their families can come and see what we are up to. Please, check our Facebook Page for regular updates.