The phrase, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ has become a mantra for Alison Kriel and her team at Northwold Primary School. Earlier this year, Alison had recommended a visit to Andalusia, in particular the beaches of Tarifa and Conil. By chance, I was recently invited to the area by another friend who epitomises the Southern Spanish attitude to life. During my time there, I found myself being drawn in by the ambience of the region and wisdom of my friend.
It was not just the climate that soothed me, though this has an undeniable impact, as does the proximity to sand and surf. Catching a wave and the smiles of others, indicating ‘You Get It’ has a profound effect.
Amongst the surge of the waves was the sound of pure laughter, from young and old. What struck me was the mixture of generations, the sense of family and community. This was even more obvious in the evenings with the children playing and watching the street artists until late, while the older folk kept watch amongst their own conversations.
The gulf between southern European and UK lifestyles is vast and my visit was a timely reminder to seek a better balance. The relentless initiatives forced upon those working in education communities take their toll, so much so that we often fail to take time to reflect and be truly mindful.
The changes in Government have led to the long overdue removal of Gove and Morgan, who have systematically attempted to destroy the teaching profession. What happens next remains to be seen, but I am hopeful that Justine Greening will actually encourage the DfE to listen to teachers and learners and consider the different qualities and needs of schools. Hopefully, she will be mindful of the words, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’…