We have had numerous visitors to Inwoods these past couple of weeks, including a large group of education students from the University of Winchester. These fresh eyes on the place, direct questions, and concerns expressed regarding the current state of education, evidently offer another moment for us to reflect seriously on what it is we are doing at Inwoods and why. One commonly stated worry among our prospective parents is how the assessments schools put young children through traumatise many into believing they are inadequate learners; but will a more relaxed approach prepare them for the standards and demands of secondary education?
While we go to great lengths to prepare the children at Inwoods with the core skills for secondary education, we don’t feel it is meaningful to life to fill their brains with extensive amounts of knowledge and tactics to regurgitate for test purposes. A former pupil of Inwoods shared how at college she was very aware of being spoon-fed exactly what the examination required by being given numerous mock papers to input ready-made answers. She could see she had memorised for the exam but then forgot everything.
Much of what children learn cannot be measured. When we start to invent a system we believe will adequately assess their learning, comparisons and targets to ‘do better’ take precedence over observing and understanding what is actually important in their day-to-day interactions with life. How can we make education meaningful in the present while equipping the children with the building blocks for the whole of their future lives, not just secondary school?
Mary-Ann and the Inwoods team