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 bee­ston­

ABOVE: The pa­rade passes around the front of Bee­ston Hall School

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