Two great community primary schools make the headlines in the national media...

Francis Gilbert's picture
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If you haven't seen the comedian Rhod Gilbert (no relation!) visit Monnow Primary School near Newport, Wales, you have to! It's the funniest thing that's been on TV in a while. Gilbert visits this great primary school and is initially bemused about the whole set-up -- Planet Thunk, doing Maths in a forest, the teaching of reading -- but comes around at the end and is really very positive about the great work that teachers are doing...Catch it while you can on iPlayer here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=e4NOGu1SuTA#!

Meanwhile, the government has been caught -- gasp -- praising a community school, Woodberry Down Community Primary School in Hackney, for its piloting of doing maths without calculators. Woodberry Down is part of a series of federated community primary schools, Best Start Federation; they are currently consulting as to whether they should become academy schools. So perhaps they won't be community schools for much longer. It's clear that huge pressure is being put on primary schools to become academies now.

There's more about the Best Start Foundation and Woodberry Down here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S7wtO40az7Y
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Comments

Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 05/12/2012 - 11:34

I've just watched Rhod Gilbert's work experience as a teacher. What a lovely school Monnow Primary is. What came over was the enthusiasm and commitment of the teachers. As Rhod said, what he initially thought was "madness" (the seemingly informal teaching methods, rapping, independent learning, working in the forest school) was actually "rigour, meticulous preparation and sheer professionalism". And he exploded the "teachers rushing out of the door at 3pm", short days, long holidays stereotype. As one of the teachers said, the caretaker often had to push the teachers out of the door because they were still in school hours after the pupils had gone and he wanted to lock up.

Let's hope Mr Gove and all those who attack UK state education watch this programme.

Francis Gilbert's picture
Thu, 06/12/2012 - 15:52

Yes, I could agree more with you Janet. It's a great programme because it's funny and ireverent but also respectful...

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