12 January, 2017 / 0 Comments / Education


‘Believe that your greatness comes from within.’

I read a brilliant (insightful, humorous and very saddening) article this week (given to me by one of our parents-thank you!) written by Judith Wood (The Daily Telegraph) about how some schools are preventing children from putting their hand up in case it makes others, who do not yet understand the concept or objective being discussed in the lesson, lack self-belief.

Putting up your hand to contribute a thought or an answer is now banned in some state schools! I believe that with the eradication of that time-honoured tradition in many schools, the ability of self-expression, of individuality, of the development of the self-confidence to generate an idea and to ‘say-what-you-think’ has gone with it.

Apps have been brought in to classrooms so that ‘learners’ can give their thoughts and ideas without ever having to utter a word. Many of our young people are being denied the opportunity to express themselves, to develop the ability to reason and are and will increasingly also lack the confidence to do so. Not only, as the article concurs, are our children losing the confidence, the ability to convey their thoughts in a challenging, real world context but they are also losing the confidence and ability to do so in a supposedly familiar, supportive, conducive environment…their schools! Madness!

Pownall develops confident, self-assured, inquisitive, involved, sociable, articulate and resilient children. Children who will ‘give it a go’ even if they may not always ‘get it exactly right’ the first time around-Resilience personified.

Pownall children enjoy the ability to be able to conduct themselves superbly at a social occasion, whether that be on stage in Celebration Assembly, in a music and drama recital or play, when thanking opposition after a fixture, or indeed at the sharp end when they are asked to interview as a part of the 11+ process that begins with their first steps in EYFS and is ‘completed’ in F6. Everything we do in those formative, early years leads to the fabulous children in F6 who go on to do so very well not only at 11 but in life.

We put our hands-up at Pownall. No magic feathers, or magic apps, to do it for us.

‘Sometimes what you may think to be your greatest weakness turns out to be your greatest strength.’