So, Tilda Swinton built a school. NBD.
We love Tilda Swinton for any number of reasons – she’s fearless, impeccably cool, and of course, a killer actress. But when the Scottish Oscar winner isn’t starring in the latest Wes Anderson film or bonding with David Bowie, she’s doing amazing things with education.
Here’s what’s up. Swinton, 54, who is mother to 17-year-old twins Honor and Xavier, co-founded a school in the Scottish Highlands two years ago after trying in vain to find a school that lived up to her standards.
The school, Drumduan Upper School, doesn’t test or grade any of its students. And there’s practically no sitting behind a desk. Instead, students are taught more artistic and outdoorsy pursuits.
“It’s incredibly art-based, practical learning,” Swinton tells The Guardian.
But how does that work, exactly? Is it all about making floral garlands in the woods and singing folk songs over wild-harvested chanterelle mushrooms? Nope! Let the master explain: “For example, they learn their science by building a Canadian canoe, or making a knife, or caramelizing onions. And they’re all happy 17-year-olds. I can’t believe it — happy and inspired.”
The school’s website elaborates even more: students appear to learn from a very “On Walden Pond” approach – by exploring in nature, delving into art history—and studying music, dance and movement every morning. But let’s get back to the land, or the basics, if you will.
There are a fair amount of trips to forage for food eaten by, not only, the pupils, but Tilda herself.
“We’re just doing a little chillaxing,” Swinton told the Guardian as she ate wild garlic and nettle soup they harvested earlier that day.
We’d love to chillax with her up in the Highlands too, and think there’s plenty merit in arts-focused education. Oh to be a member of the Swinton clan.
Check out the Guardian’s full story, along with some amazing photos of Swinton with her students, just being in nature and such.