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Curionesty School

Curionesty School is a small-scale, full-time school focusing on youth education for 12-18 year olds, cultivating curiosity and honesty.

The biggest dilemma of education in this era, is that the ideas of “school” and “education” have become antonyms. What Curionesty School is doing, is putting all of our efforts to bring the school back to education. In Curionesty we enable the students to keep their curiosity and encourage self-learning, so that they can find the courage to explore the world, and to finally identify their own pursuits.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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August 2018
What Curionesty School is doing, is attempting all of our efforts to bring the school back to education. In Curionesty we enable the students to keep their curiosity, encourage self-learning and find the courage to explore the world; identifying their own pursuits and true selves. Growing into men and women capable of making their own decisions and taking responsibility for their actions.

About the innovation

Cultivating Purpose Driven People

Curionesty School is derived from Kiid School, one of our earlier projects focusing on playing games through summer and winter camps and weekend “cram” classes. From 2014 onwards we have accumulated hundreds of small curriculum units to “cram” what’s missing from the exam-oriented education: Film Shooting, Stop-Motion Animation, One-Person One-Story Theater, Homemade Catapults, Building a Real Bridge, etc. We've managed to hold more than a dozen camps, and we’re still planning to do more. Based on the contacts and relationships with teenagers developed during the Kiid School period, we started Curionesty, a full-time school, in September 2016. We are embracing the fifth semester of Curionesty this fall. Many of the Curionesty students who enrolled came from our winter and summer camps.

The main reason why we choose to focus on youth education is that we as co-founders share similar life experiences. We all encountered a lot of confusion during our adolescence, and found no salvation from the schools. We did not have supportive companions around, or good channels of communication with our parents. We were labeled as rebels as we wasted too much valuable time, and felt isolated. Thus we hoped to change this situation for adolescent children today, so that they have access to a nurturing and encoraging environment.

With a complete and original curriculum, and a stable team of core teachers, we influence our students in the best systematical way. Students may enter Curionesty once they turn 12. At the ages of 12-15, we focus on liberal education. On the general basis of liberal education, we then help students to discover themselves and explore their life mission. At the age of 16-18, students are given more time to explore in a more personalized way, allowing them to think and identify their destiny. After six years of study, an 18-year-old adult graduate from Curionesty will enter into another stage of his or her life, to either pursue higher education or plunge into a career path, with further supports from us. During these six years of study, our education enables students to master basic knowledge, to have an independent personality and clear judgment, to be able to make their own decisions and be responsible, and to ultimately find their own destiny, their true passion, and the courage to go after it.

We hold open classes on Saturdays. In the mornings we provide public elective classes for both the Curionesty students and the public, including Thanatology, Canon Reading, Finding Chengdu, Fine Food Testing, and Common Sense of Games. In the afternoons we organize public activities including reading clubs, football games, bicycle rallying, frisbee contests and more. These activities not only attract students from outside Curionesty School, but also influence them positively.

Micro schools aim to make a major impact

Implementation steps

Summer and Winter Camps

We hold camps with different themes and contents every winter and summer vacation, aimed at students between the ages of 12-16. Teenagers coming from all over the country live and study with teachers in these camps, and experience the learning environment we create for them. With a different experience of learning styles, they learn completely different things from traditional schools. In traditional Chinese schools, students study all subjects together, such as Chinese, math, English, etc. This style of learning is not focused on students' interests or passion, but simply entrance examinations, thus students are made to spend too much time doing exercises for examinations. It is called “cramming” education, because students are very passive in this process. However, our winter and summer camps offer students a different and active way of learning. They come here to learn many interesting things, such as film shooting, drama, how to make a catapult at home, or even how to build a real bridge, all ideas evolve from students' interests. In these projects, students learn with guidance from their teachers, and form a learning community with their peers, working together to achieve the same goal.

There’s a gap day during each camp, which all the students and teachers can use to promote a course for everyone to attend. On this day, there will be a variety of different classes for each student to choose from, and on this day even students get to teach their teachers. For example, one year a camp student set up a magic class and drew lots of attention from the students and teachers for his great perfomance, he enjoyed a great sense of achievement teaching others about his passion.

In our camps, we also establish a self-created financial system and issue a self-created currency. Students throughout the camp can experience a small, but complete financial system, in which we have carefully incorporated financial education for them.

The camps are a condensed version of the full-time Curionesty schooling, and because of this, many who went to the camps, go on to choose Curionesty for their full-time education.

Besides the camps, we also have weekend activities, community events and public electives, which are offered to students outside Curionesty to try and experience. We furthermore customize courses and teacher training programs for traditional schools or institutions.

Our camps and public activities have won much recognition and praise. One student who participated in several camps shared his comment with us: 

"(…) So I think the spirit of innovation, creation and creativity is the core of Kiid School. On the premise of giving you enough freedom, it gives you directions and takes you through a novice tutorial. The rest, and the very best you want to see, is that we imply into the same thing with different souls, through our own different inspirations, actions and personalities. I think that's what creation is at its highest. Different from the exam-oriented education, Kiid School is free, interests-focused, and for the like-minded. I'm really honored to finally find my own hobbies and a group of friends who support me in fulfilling my dreams before I have been thoroughly assimilated into the exam-oriented education." 

Liberal Education at Ages 12-15

When students enrol in Curionesty full-time, they mainly receive liberal education between the ages of 12-15. We have developed for them a number of interest-oriented courses, both compulsory and elective. The aim of Curionesty education is to cultivate purpose-driven people, and we define such people as men and women having curiosity, courage and awareness. Based on these three directional aims we have created our own curriculum system.

At the liberal education stage, our daily classes are classified as compulsory, elective, project-base. Alongside this, we have Hi-Play Week, Common Sense Week, Camping Week, Field Trip Week and Term Project Exhibition Week. The cornerstone of this classification is to spark interest that will hopefully stimulate students' curiosity, in order to help them engage in the process of learning, and better solve problems though inner-motivation.

Examples of our specialty courses:

In Bragging class, students make the boldest assumptions about the things they are most interested in. One of our students liked poetry very much, and last semester she bragged about publishing a poetry collection last semester. Some others liked arts, and bragged about publishing an album of paintings. This course stimulates students' passion and inner motivation to start an exploration, and encourages them to prove themselves.

In Finding Chengdu class, teachers and students will walk along the streets of Chengdu and discover its history, architectures, life style and food. This is an opportunity for students to explore the world with curiosity. We all live in Chengdu, but we don't really know about this city. The school should have no walls, and the whole city should be our best classroom, with curiosity being our best guide.

In Do Things class, students are encouraged to do things for real. For example, students once organized by themselves a public film event in Chengdu for the movie Most Likely to Succeed, with their teachers only providing assistance. Learning is not only about textbook knowledge, but also about doing things for real in the real world. Students gain extraordinary self-confidence and a sense of achievement from this process.

In addition, we incorporate into each semester nearly two weeks of project-based courses.

In this spring semester of 2018, our project is to build a bus library. We actually purchased a 47 seat bus, and teachers assigned tasks according to students’ own interests. Students can also apply for tasks they find particularly interesting. For example, some liked painting very much, and they took the initiative to take up the task of painting the exterior; some liked music very much, and they would study how to install a music system in the bus; some liked cats very much, and they co-worked on the bus to build a small home for the cats. Before remodeling the bus, students formed different groups to build different models of bus libraries, and brainstormed their ideas to fully reflect their needs and imaginations of the bus library.

After this two-week bus library project, the bus has been transformed into a functional library. Students participated in every stage, from the seat removal, to crafting library desks and a small bar, and the design of the library lighting system. One student made a very cool platonic lamp, practicing what she had learned about platonic solids from the Classical Math class.

The bus library project itself is just one part of our new campus renovation, and students are guaranteed to participate in the entire campus renovation from design to construction, which makes them all excited for the semesters to come.

These specialty courses provide unique experiences for the students. Because we firmly believe that a good school is not only a preparation for a good life in the future, but a good life by itself.


Personalized Exploration at Age 16-18

In addition to the usual curriculum design, we take into account the individual differences of each student, and tailor-make a unique task program for him or her. We also designed a unique companion teaching model, where each student will be assigned his or her own companion teacher mentor after a two-way choice process. By the time students reach the age of 15 they are then given another three years of personalized exploration. Mentors at this stage are more focused on guiding students to explore and think about their future after they graduate from Curionesty at the age of 18.

In a case where we had a student who liked sports very much and enjoyed playing with younger children, his mentor recommended him to a public kindergarten in Chengdu and taught him how to teach rugby lessons for kindergarten kids, bringing together the very two things he was most interested in. Indeed, teaching is the best way of learning. From this special project tailored for him, he not only gained self-confidence and a sense of achievement, but also developed leadership skills and a sense of responsibility. When he returned to Curionesty after his experience, he took on more responsibly as a team leader amongst his peers during rugby practice.

This student is 17 years old, and ready to graduate in 2019. He had always planned to look for a sports-related job after graduation, and this kindergarten teaching program prepared him for his career through tailored work experience.

At ages 15-18, students will be provided with many practical opportunities related to their interests and aspirations, to either start a business, learn a vocational skill, or intern in a company or an institution.

After they have turned 18, our students graduate from Curionesty, and enter into another stage of life with their own interests central to whether they pursue higher education or follow a career path, with continous support from us. 

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