Thursday, 13 October 2011

a place for learning

We are all pretty much agreed on what a school is for.  When I asked that question a while back, our answers were along the same lines.  School is ‘for learning’, ‘to learn stuff’, ‘to learn’, ‘for learning things ‘cos you get better and better at it’, ‘so children learn things’, ‘to learn words and to read’.

As Yousouf put it, we come to school because ‘if we don’t learn, how can we do it?’  Quite.

And, as  Melchior said, ‘a school is to help people learn more things to do in real life.’  (Personally I am not sure that school is not real life, but I suppose it does sometimes feel like it!)

Yanis, thinking ahead somewhat, told us that at school we ‘learn things so that we will be a teacher’.  No prizes for guessing what his father’s job is!

Nicholas was far and away the most expansive though.  ‘It’s for having homework and making you grow up so that you can be a big boy.  It has lunchtime in it…..because that’s part of the school and that’s how it can make you grow up.  It even has playtime so you can get exercise like running and jumping and playing.’  Phew!

He’s right of course.  School is a place for learning, a place for all of those things.  It is not just for learning words and to read; we need to have a well-balanced education.  We need a well-balanced education because as they say, a healthy body means a healthy mind. 

Now let’s think about some of the grown-ups at our school.  Me for instance.  What do I come to school for?

Giggles at this! ‘It’s obvious!  We come for learning and you come to teach us.’

OK.  Agreed.  Now what about Béatrix?  (That’s her, the smiling one with the glasses.)


What does an assistant do at our school? You ask her and I will make a note on the oh-so-smart board of everything she tells us.….and soon the oh-so-smart board is FULL. Crammed with writing and drawings. Poor Béatrix. What a LOT she has to do!

And what a lot of places she has to work. As Ella wrote, ‘She helps in the classroom. She helps in the playground. She helps in the parking.’ 

She wears a special orange jacket (and a smile) when she works in the car park.


And what else?  Are you ready for all this?

She scissor-cuts the papers…..


and sticks them in our books.


She puts our paintings on the wall…..


and writes the title of the book we are reading…..


and serves the lunches.


And most important of all, she does it all with a BIG smile on her face.


(But it’s no wonder she breathes a huge sigh when it gets to the weekend!)

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