Let’s shake up Education

At Inspirations nurseries we go the extra mile to ensure we are providing the children in our care a ‘second to none’ learning environment. Our ethos and pedagogy speak of children learning trough their interests, through nature and art, both independently and with their peers. Our environment is set up to encourage thought processing skills, logical problem solving and collaborating ideas to solve problems within small groups of friends and/or the adults supporting them.

Our love of all thing’s nature encourages us to consider the planet and our impact on its future evolution. We recycle, upcycle and reuse and repurpose our waste as much as possible and discuss with the children our environmental impact wherever appropriate.

The time, care and commitment required to offer our children this rich varied learning environment is considerable, the rewards however, are clear to see in the faces of every one of our children. Their open, happy, faces, the intent with which they explore each developmental opportunity is the reason we, in this profession, do what we do, it’s pure joy.

There is no doubt in my mind that the freedom of choice, the sense of open space and freedom, the ability to be autonomous in their learning experiences, to make their own choices and explore their own ideas is one hundred percent the reason that our children stand out in reception classes across our postcode as having the necessary ‘school ready skills’ (a term I abhor)!

It therefore leaves me feeling deflated, saddened and to be honest a little angry on behalf our children that these  foundational skills which should be built on and nurtured throughout their childhood, is ripped away by a school education system that is failing to ignite curiosity, lifelong learning skills and most of all, an enthusiasm to learn. Having had a child recently start school after attending Inspirations I can’t tell you how against the grain I have found the homework load, the testing at age five and above all, the change in my child’s engagement in her own learning. Her interest has waned, she is no longer skipping out to tell me what she has been doing… Why, because it has been inconsequential to her, it is something that has just happened, rather than something she has engaged with and in. She is no longer at the centre of her learning process. Testing teachers teaching skills has overridden the requirement (and every child’s right) to put them at the heart of their own learning and development.

Consider an alternative

It is my view that our current learning institution is failing in terms of both the children attending and the teachers teaching. Here at Inspirations, we have witnessed first-hand the uptake of teachers leaving the profession in recent years citing burnout and their personal loss of passion for a role that is no longer rewarding to them. I have always said that working alongside children is a vocation not a job, we need to foster the passion and autonomy of the people educating our children NOT beat them down and stamp them out. This is unfortunately the situation we are currently facing within schools across the UK.

The alternative then… Let’s consider a school environment that follows a similar ethos and pedagogy to Inspirations where children and adults collaborate together in environments that encourage lifelong learning experiences, where children feel free to learn though play where they can experiment, make mistakes and learn from them without feeling like they have failed or haven’t met pre prescribed arbitrary standards. ‘Standards’ which only serve to demoralise both the teachers and students.

Our school environments haven’t changed since their conception over a hundred years ago. I for one think it’s time for a new approach.

Do you agree?