Exam Results and League Tables

UK independent schools are in a bit of a bind when it comes to exam results and league tables. They know that their parents are in one sense “customers” who like to know what they’re “buying”, but they also know that it is the most important aspects of a good education that are the hardest to measure. …

Oundle Trivium

I recently came across this initiative from Oundle School, and was so heartened that I think Mr Gunson‘s words need quoting in full! What a wonderful example of a school actually enacting that well-worn phrase: “education for its own sake”. Will follow with interest… It is vital that pupils do not equate all learning with assessment. Trivium has …

Rudolf Steiner’s Blackboard Drawings

I’ve just finished Gary Lachman’s very enjoyable biography of Rudolf Steiner, which I hope to summarise in a later post. For now I thought I would share a few of Steiner’s rather haunting and childish blackboard drawings with which he illustrated his lectures. Loads more available online of course. (source: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2014/03/26/arts/openings-in-tokyo/rudolf-steiner/#.VyDnKvkrKUk) (http://visualmelt.com/Rudolf-Steiner)

Toynbee: How History can enrich perception

Arnold Toynbee, in A Study of History, digresses to muse upon… “the experience of a communion on the mundane plane with persons and events from which, in his usual state of consciousness, he is sundered by a great gulf of Time and Space that, in ordinary circumstances, is impassable for all his faculties except his …

Sehnsucht – C S Lewis

The German language has a word for the longing that C S Lewis evokes in much of his work: sehnsucht. The Wikipedia article describes it as a feeling of nostalgia for a time that we did not necessarily experience. Here is C S Lewis giving voice to that “piercing joy” of sehnsucht. “Apparently, then, our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited …

Primal Trust

I’ve just discovered, and am hugely enjoying, Gary Lachman’s work on esotericism. I’m feeling myself becoming ever more interested in Steiner’s spiritual education and its hopes of resisting the rising tide of materialism. I particularly liked this comment about cultivating a positive disposition towards life: So it would not be an exaggeration, I think, to say …

Children and the Use of Technology

(I published this piece on the Keystone blog a few months ago, and reprint it below.) One topic often discussed in my conversations with parents is the impact of technology on family life. Context – how common is technology in children’s lives? The pervasiveness of technology in children’s lives is undisputed. The Connected Kids Report …

Kidzania and the growth of a child’s imagination

My office happens to be near Kidzania, the “Educational Entertainment Experience” that has recently opened in Westfield, so it has been the subject of some speculation amongst the Keystone team. I have spent the past few days reading more about it, and confess to some unease about its educational vision. Kidzania is built over a …

Eton – after a socialist revolution

I’ve quite enjoyed racing through News from Nowhere, William Morris’ account of England a generation after a socialist revolution. I’m sure everyone was worrying… “but what would happen to Eton?” “Up yonder are some beautiful old buildings, which were built for a great college or teaching-place by one of the mediaeval kings – Edward the Sixth, …