Following the first blog in this series last month, I was delighted last week to see some research published at the IoE by Kathryn Riley on the subject of place, belonging and schools as home-places. It comes with this video called The Art of Possibilities. It (the blog, not the video so much) is an important contribution to the national-local debate which pits most of the DfE on one side and schools thinking mostly on the other.
Much of the work we did in 2012-2014 on themes like Moving Stories and Grandparents Week had this idea in mind – that who we are and the place we live matters and impacts our education, but I am keen to find out more.
The idea of place as a centre for belonging has a particular resonance in a city like Milton Keynes where churches, schools and local communities (for the most part, and excluding well-established parts of Bletchley, Newport Pagnell and Wolverton) are struggling to find a sense of belonging. There is another post coming up shortly on the issue of hospitality and its impact on belonging, but in the meantime, Matt Abbott’s poem “This place is ours,” currently featuring in a Nationwide Building Society Ad is a welcome and beautiful restating of what it means to belong to a group of people in a place.