From the head­mas­ter’s of­fice

Chal­leng­ing the norm is es­sen­tial for all schools at the start of a new year, says Robin Gain­her, head­mas­ter at Bee­ston Hall School at West Run­ton

EDP Norfolk - - Education -

How does it feel a month into the new aca­demic year for schools? Pretty much the same as it al­ways does, I imag­ine would be the re­sponse. Schools are cycli­cal by na­ture; what hap­pened last year is sim­i­lar to what hap­pens this year, save for a few tweaks here and there. Timeta­bles and rou­tines change lit­tle in essence; if it works, don’t change it. Af­ter the sum­mer break we pre­pare our classes in the same way, we teach our lessons and take our breaks in the same pat­tern and we do it in the same old en­vi­ron­ment.

So, how can schools change the way we op­er­ate; do we have a col­lec­tive will to change or are we gen­er­ally happy with the “same old same old”?

Herein lies the chal­lenge for schools, par­tic­u­larly those not con­strained by leg­is­la­tion and cur­ricu­lum de­mands where change comes with con­di­tions. Never be­fore do we as a teach­ing pro­fes­sion know more about what works. We are an in­formed pro­fes­sion about how to ed­u­cate chil­dren.

Per­haps, for ex­am­ple, we could do away with home­work, es­pe­cially for younger chil­dren (up to at least Year Six) and in­stead teach­ers could change what they teach to in­cor­po­rate the home­work they would have set. Home­work could be sim­ply to read for 30 min­utes. It’s a start.

Ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion on mak­ing the right choice for your child.

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