Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Educational breadth

Having written last evening about education being about more than exam results, I have just returned from a Senior School service in the Cathedral.  One of our Heads of School gave a really good and interesting address about the importance of skills, character and personality.  Unsurprisingly, the example he used was not drawn from the classroom but from his recent Duke of Edinburgh expedition to the Brecon Beacons and the experience of traversing Pen Y Fan in a snow storm.  He made his points clearly and the experience of presenting to a large audience is also good preparation for life.

Linked to this, I was interested to see an article in yesterday's Telegraph (click here) where leading figures from the worlds of music, theatre, art and dance have expressed concern over a narrowing of education.  This all stems from the move towards an EBacc made up of five compulsory subjects (English, Maths, History or Geography, Science and a Language) and the fear that pupils will stop accessing broader and creative subjects.  It is at times like this that I am glad to be running an independent school where such issues do not arise.  We do teach languages from the age of four which is unusual but also incorporate other subjects such as Art, Design Technology and Music all the way through our Pre-Prep, Prep and Senior Schools.  I agree whole-heartedly with both the concerns raised and also the clear arguments made about the importance of the creative arts in developing skills and enabling the flourishing of the whole person.