As I walked through the beautiful fields and woodland near my home today, I pondered on the tragedy of mainstream education. Half a mile away my two daughters would be sitting amidst this beautiful landscape in a classroom. At a desk. With no awareness of the energy and beauty of nature all around them.
There is a part of me that would love to remove them from their excellent school and place them in a Steiner or forest school where they might better be able to develop the awe and wonder they still have for nature. Where they might be able to learn their basic numeracy skills using sticks and stones, their science in the rivers and streams. Yet for me, that’s not the answer. As with everything in my life I yearn for a middle way.
To bring the learning and expertise of the Forest Schools approach into the mainstream. To allow every child the opportunity to learn whilst in a wide open space. To give teachers in rural schools such as ours the skills to use the wonderful advantage they have in the natural environment all around them. To let children re-connect with the joy, the beauty and the peace of Mother Nature. All whilst learning their numeracy, their literacy, their ability to connect with other people, other animals, to connect with life.
Could we create that school together? Perhaps it already exists? I’d love to hear your ideas, thoughts and feelings – please share them below.