BROKEN LINKS: Some of the links in this site use the domain
Because the site is no longer maintained, those links no longer work.
But if you substitute that part of the page's address with, they will work for you.
Sorry, but there's no time to go back and edit the whole site!

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Learning from Experience

Is education not all about widening horizons, broadening the mind? Certainly, in large part, it is. Through the eyes and ears of their head teacher, Avis Curry, the pupils of Combs Infant School have a window on Africa in their small reception hall in the heart of the Peak District. This area of the reception is frequently used for displays of the children’s work but, for now, it is an ‘interactive’ corner of Africa, a learning experience for all.

Mrs Curry has written eloquently about her time in Rwanda in an earlier post. It is well worth a read and puts us to shame in a number of areas – from the Rwandan attitude to plastic bags and recycling to the smiles on their faces despite suffering years of horror and hardship.

The children at Combs school smile a lot too. Not because they are smug and know how lucky they are, but simply because they are happy. They enjoy learning. Their teachers make it fun. They have a wonderful environment in which to develop a love of learning which they will hopefully carry with them through the rest of their lives. A lot of children in large, urban schools leave with quite another attitude. They are the ‘lost’ children of our education system. Victims of over-large classes, poor discipline, bullying and no natural beauty around them to inspire and energise them.

Small schools are like a large family. They share experiences together and they learn from them. They talk about things, they help each other. Mrs Curry was able to go to Rwanda confident in her team to look after the children she was leaving behind – and confident that the children wouldn’t let her down or misbehave in her absence. This sort of school is a blueprint for society. It would be a crime to shut it down – and extremely short-sighted.

No comments: