Charlotte Mason – who was she, and what is her relevance?

Who was Charlotte Mason? Charlotte Mason (1842 – 1923) was a teacher and educational writer who lived and worked all over the UK. Orphaned at 16, she taught both as a governess and as a classroom teacher. Despite suffering ill health for much of her life, she founded a teacher training college at Ambleside for …

Education Philosophy – 3 FAQ

(First published on the Keystone blog here.) Parents today take a more active interest in their children’s education than the generation or two that preceded them, so that it’s not unusual for those of us working in education to be asked our views on a “growth mindset” one day or the “outdatedness of the 19th …

Don’t blame “factory education”

[P]hrases like “the industrial model of education,” “the factory model of education,” and “the Prussian model of education” are used as a “rhetorical foil” in order make a particular political point – not so much to explain the history of education, as to try to shape its future. Much enjoyed this revisionist piece on the …

History of Prep Education Podcast # 3 – Interview with Mark Johnson

In Episode 3 of my History of Prep Education project, I interview Mark Johnson. Mark (known to all his pupils as MRJ) attended prep boarding school himself aged 6 (!). As a teacher, he taught at Summer Fields for 17 years, becoming Deputy Headmaster, before becoming Headmaster of Cheam in 1998 – a post he …

History of Prep Education # 2 – Interview with Rory Darling

In my second interview of my Captain Raindrop project, I interview Rory Darling. Rory taught Maths and History at many of the top boarding boys preparatory schools in the country, including Summer Fields, Cothill, Ludgrove, Aysgarth and Elstree. You can listen here: https://soundcloud.com/willorrewing/will-orr-ewing-interviews-rory-darling Or I have embedded the YouTube link below. Please bear with me as …

History of Prep Education #1 – Interview with Rhidian Llewellyn

Last week I began a part-time project to interview retired prep school teachers about their teaching methods. My first subject was Rhidian Llewellyn. Rhidian began his teaching career at Heatherdown. From 1980-1984 he was Head of History and English at Arnold House School in St John’s Wood, London. In 1986 he became Senior Housemaster at …

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, …

Mini-Essay: The Curriculum

In almost a decade of answering questions from parents about boarding schools, I have never been asked about a school’s curriculum. And yet it is hard to think of a feature that has more of a bearing on a child’s education. This short essay makes a case for why the curriculum is quite so important, …