Monday, 24 October 2011


In January The Guardian launched the School I'd Like, asking schoolchildren what would make their perfect school.
Some of the ideas are blue-sky thinking but interestingly they didn't want to do less work. They just wanted work that enthuses and means something to them and they wanted their educational experience to be tailored to them.

 They wanted school to be:
 ★ Active – with lots of different sports, including judo, dance, karate, football and abseiling, and a swimming pool with slides. Playgrounds with climbing frames and treehouses where you could learn about nature.
★ Calm – with a chill-out room; music instead of bells, and a quiet place inside at playtime for drawing, reading and board games.
★ Comfortable – with beanbags, big enough chairs, small enough chairs, slippers, and somewhere personal to store things. There should be cold drinks in the summer and hot drinks to warm you up in winter.
★ Creative and colourful – with lots of room to make and display art, bright painted walls in corridors and dining rooms, and flowers in the classroom.
★ Expert - with teachers who don't just read up about their subjects, but live them, and visiting celebrities to talk about what they do.
★ Flexible – with more time for favourite subjects, no compulsory subjects apart from maths and English, and more time for art and sport.
★ Friendly – with kind teachers who speak softly and don't shout, and special members of staff that you can go and talk to. You should be allowed to sit with your friends in class and assembly.
★ Listening – with forums for classes to express their views and also chances for pupils to have quiet chats with teachers. Don't just listen, but take children's comments seriously and make changes as a result.
★ Inclusive –with pupils of all achievement, ability and background learning together. Everybody should learn in one room, with opportunities for small group or private work.
★ International – with food from all over the world on the dinner menu and pupils from all over the world in the classroom; with opportunities to go abroad to learn languages and about other cultures.
★ Outside – fortnightly school trips (without worksheets), animals to look after like chickens, sheep and horses, and greenhouses to grow fruit and vegetables to eat at school and sell to raise funds.
★ Technological – with iPads to read and work on, MP3 players for relaxing during breaks or to help concentrate while working alone, and usb sticks to take work home (and save paper).

 The perfect school would have:
★ No homework
★ A flexible timetable
★ An hour-long lunch break
★ Pets
★ First-aid lessons
★ A choice of uniform to express your personality
★ After-school clubs in all sorts of subjects
★ Hot dinners
★ An iPad for each pupil
★ A football field
★ Fewer tests (but not no tests at all)

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