Buried amongst the many is my comment on Gareth Malone's Extraordinary School for Boys blog
At 02:36am on 10 Sep 2010, Alwyn ap Huw wrote:
A lot of negative comments above, many suggesting that it's OK on a programme from the BBC, but couldn't be adapted to practical everyday teaching. I disagree.
There isn't a school in the world, even the most impoverished, that can't introduce,(at no cost) debating skills, an essential ability in answering those exam questions later in life that go "blah di blah di blah" –discuss!
Even the poorest school in the world can act out the meaning of a poem or the storyline of a book, at no cost.
When I was in school, a long time ago, many of the things that Gareth is doing were extracurricular. Debating and acting (passages of the Bible) was done in Sunday school.
The rough and tumble outdoor activities were done in the Cubs and the Scouts.
Competing in elocution, poetry reading or writing, singing, dancing, artwork and a hundred other forms of expression were provided by the local to national eisteddfod movement, encouraged by schools but outside the school curriculum!
It is a shame that children aren't members of as many extracurricular societies as I was 40 years ago. If schools are expected to make up that deficit, then school hours need to be extended.
An interesting point that Gareth made is that boys have to take risks. I agree. It is interesting that girls started overtaking boys academically when corporal punishment in school was abolished, when the risk of six of the best for the rudeness to Gareth that some of the boys on the programme displayed would have earned them a whacking in my day.
The abolition of CP has reduced the risk in boys education and reduced their achievements at the same time!