MAKE THAT CALL

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key - whether by phone or card - es­pe­cially at this time of year

EDP Norfolk - - Education - Fred de Falbe, head­mas­ter at Bee­ston Hall School, West Run­ton

“TURN­ING UP for the open­ing of a tele­phone box” sounds like an up­dated ver­sion of the well-worn con­dem­na­tory jibe at a celebrity who ap­pears “for the open­ing of an en­ve­lope”. But this is ex­actly what I did ear­lier this term when I waxed lyri­cal – cut­ting the shiny rib­bon as I did - about the lovely re­fur­bish­ment of our school phone box, com­pleted by the Year Eight chil­dren, where board­ers can ring home. The red de­sign clas­sic con­ceals an un­ex­pect­edly con­tem­po­rary in­te­rior, with Jack­son Pol­lock cur­tains and groovy leather stool, as well as sen­tence-build­ing scaf­fold­ing speech bub­bles to help when the con­ver­sa­tion be­gins to dry up!

Like so many things at Bee­ston Hall which pro­voke broad smiles, the phone box ac­tu­ally ful­fils a deeply se­ri­ous func­tion – com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Though the most pop­u­lar method is prob­a­bly still let­ters home, at any time of the day or night chil­dren can go straight to the phone and call any­one, with­out re­fer­ring to any adult or switch­board. We of­fer in­de­pen­dence and au­ton­omy, as well as prac­tis­ing the valu­able art of the hand­writ­ten note. And what bet­ter time to be cel­e­brat­ing this than now, as we all sharpen our pen­cils for Christ­mas card writing? Out goes the cor­po­rate printed of­fice card and in with scrib­bled note and hand-made pho­to­copied de­sign, car­ry­ing a per­sonal inky mes­sage which ev­ery re­cip­i­ent trea­sures be­yond the most ex­trav­a­gant text mes­sage.

What­ever the case, the phone, as a sym­bol of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, has no ri­val in en­cour­ag­ing us to stay in touch. I par­tic­u­larly like how ours sym­bol­ises the school it­self: a clas­sic ex­te­rior con­tain­ing some­thing of pri­mary use, wo­ven in with in­no­va­tive and orig­i­nal ideas, all com­mit­ted to bring­ing peo­ple to­gether and helping them com­mu­ni­cate.

Time to call home - the new tele­phone box at Bee­ston Hall School

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