In France it is not half term this week. In fact the boys have only been back to school after their very late Easter holidays for 2 weeks ago and they break up for Summer in early July so there really isn't time. That said, Ben who is still at primary school isn't doing any actual school work this week:
|Ben the Archer|
I really do think that all school children should have the opportunity to do things like this. Of course everyone needs to learn how to read, write and do their numbers but children also need to learn other skills and perhaps do something that is completely new to them and perhaps out of their comfort zone. I know several children going on this trip who would never otherwise have the chance to try out these activities. This is such a great opportunity for them.
|Via Ferrata at Clécy - Ben is really hoping they do this during his trip|
The school has also secured finding for Ben's class to go horse riding for 6 mornings this term - again, another opportunity to learn something new, maybe overcome some fears and achieve in something non-academic.
Ben gets back this evening and as he is still in primary school there is no school tomorrow, Wednesday. Thursday is one of the many Bank Holidays France has at this time of year. This one, celebrating Ascension Day, always falls on a Thursday and some schools chose to give the pupils Friday off to make Le Pont - the Bridge or long week-end. Not this year though but on Friday Ben will be visiting his secondary school where he will start next term. That just leaves Friday afternoon and that is swimming!
So, a week at school, with lots of learning, but very little of it sat at a desk!
Whilst I would not wish his entire primary timetable to be like this I am very happy to see Ben's school providing non-academic activities as well as classroom learning. It puts across the message that learning is not just about facts and figures, books and computers but also about getting out and about in the real world. It may well give the chance for a child who never attains top marks in academic tests to really shine for once ... and maybe the most academic of children might find this a bit of a struggle. Life isn't one long line of easy to achieve goals, some things have to be fought for and worked hard at. Learning how to achieve at something that does not come naturally is a valuable life skill. Therefore giving children this chance at outdoor learning can, in my opinion, only be of benefit to everyone.
Do you agree? Should schools be taking children out of the classroom more or should they purely concentrate on academic learning? Do drop us a comment with your views.
|Ben kaying at Clécy|