16th May 2022 matt mudie

What are your happy memories about school? Perhaps most of all you remember trips out of school, or getting your hands dirty in a laboratory or technology room, or being read a beautiful story, or playing with friends during break-time. It seems that most of our stand-out memories are not inside a classroom.

What about your negative memories of school? Do you remember bullying, exams, being told off, not being able to sit still, horribly long periods listening to a boring teacher?

A week on from Mental Health Awareness Week I thought I’d consider some alternative approaches to education to see if they can better support children who don’t enjoy school.

Home-schooling is often starts as a counter-point to trouble in school such as bullying, stress and anxiety or poor provision for special educational needs. If your child does not respond well to a classroom of 30, then home-schooling can offer much better adult-to-child ratios and emotional support. Children can still get a sense of community and peer interaction from home school cooperatives and sports, and they can still be entered for GCSEs.

Bring your warm and waterproof clothing because you’re often outside in a forest school. Predominantly aimed at primary school children, forest schools use a lot of child led activities so that children value each other as team-mates and friends. It also uses physical, risky activities using knives, fire and tree climbing (including den building and rope swings) that develop a child’s sense of self awareness.

There are many private alternatives to main-stream school, including Montessori schools, and schools which both embrace and shun technology.

In conclusion, good education system empowers students as self-learners who are happy and well-balanced emotionally. Our mainstream school system finds it increasingly difficult to accommodate students on the fringes and with complex needs. The Wildlife Trust advocates an hour a day outdoors to help facilitate well rounded student-learners.

At Ipswich Tuition Centre we give students space to express themselves emotionally, supporting them to be well-balanced. We also tailor our approach to each individual student, encouraging them to learn in a way that suits them and to enjoy what they do.

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Children on homemade raft

Image by MarjanNo from Pixabay