Serious point of a fun day
Fred de Falbe on the importance of a balanced approach to life at school
Not long ago, Beeston hosted to the annual St George’s Day Parade undertaken by the North East Norfolk Scouts in a blaze of sunshine. Scout packs, Sea Scouts and Beavers from across the region gathered as the West Runton pack led the procession along the cliffs, along the road and into the school, their flags displayed by a good breeze.
With the Beeston Bump in the background it was a classic Norfolk day, with the community rallying round and then, as we gather on Beeston’s playing fields, the local pack acting out the story of their Cromerian highlight, the woolly mammoth skeleton found on West Runton beach in 1990. Its unearthing was a prime example of curiosity, exploration and carrying something through.
The story is well known but, told by Beestonians – or should that be West Runtonians? – it had a particular impact. Some may have seen it as simply a ’bit of fun’, an added extra to the main processional event.
Though it was great fun -demonstrating the geological plywood clock, using a cordless drill to set the hands of time spinning, was hilarious – it had a serious point. The shared pride of telling the story, and doing so in front of a large audience, was nerve-wracking, true, but truly binding too.
The Scout motto says ‘Be prepared’. They were certainly
that! Scout law requires its charges to follow 12 objectives – to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
The whole assembly heard these values repeated but the very act of articulating them together brought everyone together – old and young, not just through speaking but with plenty of activity too – flagraising, singing, processing, acting, reading. This is community spirit at work, more effectively cemented.
So it is with school life at Beeston. There are many ways of discovering and cementing learning, but one of the best aspects of this is doing so while moving around and doing so in mixed groups.
The children of 13 years old listen to five-year-olds read or show visitors around their school with pride and smiles. There is time in the day to do these things and converse as we do, rather than simply worry about class work, prep and exams.
This balanced approach to life at school, where we explore and develop, together, with a huge range of tasks in this unmatched location, is the one of which I am most proud and marks Beeston as a truly unique school. This column is sponsored by Beeston Hall School, West Runton, NR27 9NQ beestonhall.co.uk
ABOVE: The parade passes around the front of Beeston Hall School