Barley Class (blessings on their collective heads) have yet to get through the preliminary heats for the “quietest Y6 class between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.” competition. Too much excitement, not enough listening, plenty of desire to help but not much will! However, a wonderful day yesterday culminated in some sailing and canoeing exploits on Caldecotte Lake.
Right now, I am grabbing a quiet moment to work (the dreaded headteacher’s report to governors looms) whilst the children are being taken underground (caving, not a return to pre-Shaftesbury working practices) or being trained in archery. They are over 500m away, but still, I am keeping my head down.
I have learnt a lot about this class, their relative lack of independence, self-confidence and self-control. They do need to be loved a lot – just because for some of them the deficit is pretty obvious. But some have shone in kindness, openheartedness to their friends and eager willingness to help do the cook-and-bottle-washing thing that these residentials encourage and help. For us as a school, it is becoming clear that boundaries (both at school and from home) will help more, as would just high quality attention being paid to them by adults who love and trust them. One of the things we have commented on about this residential is because we are having to do so much of the cooking, clearing, cleaning, etc., just spending time with the children and listening and playing with them have taken a back seat. Serving them, though, has also been a privilege, even if all of us could do with more sleep and more energy to serve them with! As I say, this lot are somewhere at the back of the field in the quietness marathon….