I am not sure the ‘dragon-hunting’ that our Year 5 pupils undertake in the Beeston woods fits neatly into a curriculum category, but it is elemental in furthering the purpose of Beeston: enjoyment, building confidence and exploring literature and creative writing with flair, originality and excitement that is easy to miss in the year before SATs, where pressure and repetition can be the watchwords.
But there is so much more than that: delving into a (limited) dressing up box, choosing and negotiating an outfit; building a team, working out what might happen (absolutely anything!) and planning a hunt.
And then writing the adventure. This is much, much more than story-writing.
Stepping back and reflecting on what one is doing in a school is a necessary and enriching experience, usually restricted to the holidays where there is more time, beyond the busy schedule of a seven-day-a week boarding prep school like Beeston.
Part of this is going back to fundamentals such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: the pyramid base being the basics (food, clothes and shelter) rising up through safety needs, love and belonging, self-esteem, respect, recognition, to the very top, which Maslow describes as selfactualisation – being the best that one can be.
This is an aspiration shared by us teachers, as much as our pupils.
We are all lifelong learners.
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