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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.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Date Finally Set for Cabinet Review

The report on the proposed closure of Combs Infant School will go before DCC's Cabinet on 30 October 2007. A copy of the final report will be available to the campaigners on 23 October.

It will be posted on this site as soon as we get it. Remember to come back and look for it.

Do you want to attend the Cabinet meeting?
The Cabinet meeting will be in Matlock on 30 October, from 10:30am, for two or three hours. If you want to show your support for Combs School, Village Hall and Chapel, you might want to be there, to look the Cabinet up and down as they make their decision. If so, please e-mail the Webmaster, as soon as possible, to be added to the list. DCC needs to know how many people will attend.

P.S. We understand that the other three schools slated for closure will be considered by the Cabinet on 16 October, and that the first version of the report on Combs had to be redrafted before Cabinet could review it. We're trying to find out why.

UPDATE 04 October
The information we received was incorrect. The report sent to Alan Charles by David Humphrey was not a full Cabinet report, but a report on the consultation and the issues involved. It did not contain a recommendation. The full report for Cabinet is being worked on now, and will contain a recommendation for what action should be taken.