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The Art of Discovery

The American poet, Mark van Doren, was once quoted as saying that ‘the art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery’. That analysis was taken quite literally during the first week of June at the Junior School when as a staff, we took on the challenge to set up a variety of activities beyond our already highly-enriched teaching programme. The scope of the project was to create a week’s programme which should reflect our own personal interests as adults but that would enable the children to discover something new. What emerged during so-called ‘Discovery Week’ was a highly engaging blend of novel activities that caught the imagination of so many of the children in ways we hadn’t necessarily anticipated.

There was an immense variety of activities on offer from creating faces on trees using natural materials, crafting Dreamcatchers, playing Dodgeball, constructing kaleidoscopic constellations, holding yoga poses, baking butterfly cakes, speaking Italian and building dens in the woods, to name just a few. This was also framed by a number of assemblies delivered from outside speakers including Alan Hinkes OBE, the first Briton to ascend all 14 of the highest mountain peaks in the world which obviously includes Mount Everest and K2. To say it was a success would be an understatement and it reminded us all of the importance of keeping a fresh and creative approach to our educational provision.

Mr Guy Rands
12th June 2015