Monday, 6 June 2016
"The most important things that you learn at school are not really to be measured in terms of qualifications." Hippy? Nope. Eton.
If ever you wonder what our betters think about education, one place to start is the brochure sent out to prospective parents for a school called Eton. Some of the pupils at this school go on to run the country and tell the rest of us what our education should be like. Below is the brochure. I've highlighted a few points that I thought were particularly interesting:
"At Eton we see the curriculum as something that embraces more or less everything that a boy does. You may ask why we see the curriculum that way. For many schools, the curriculum is just the academic part of what a boy studies. But that really doesn’t do justice to what an education is.
When all is said and done, a boy does not come to Eton simply to earn a set of qualifications. That is obviously an important part of what happens in the school, and we take the attainment of the best set of qualifications that each of our boys is capable of achieving very seriously, but it is certainly true that the most important things that you learn at school are not really to be measured in terms of qualifications.
When a boy leaves Eton, he will have five years’ experience of academic, sporting, dramatic, artistic, musical and, perhaps most importantly, personal growth to look back on, the greater part of the latter having been centred on his house and the friendships he has made there. He will almost certainly go on to university. That will add to those experiences. But what he does here, what he will do there, and what he has already done at his previous school, are just parts of an ongoing process that will enable him to become the person that he wants to be.
His parents are the most important figures in this process, and his school is no more than a contributory agent in the determination of the opportunities that will allow him to optimise what he wants to do with his life. When he arrives, much of his energy will be given over to learning to deal with new boys, new masters, the boarding-house where he lives, the complexities of the largest school he will ever have been to, and the at-times-bewildering and always-exciting range of opportunities that will confront, challenge and tempt him at almost every turn.
Life at Eton is rich, varied, exciting, challenging, sometimes even exhausting, but, above all, enormously rewarding. It is difficult to imagine a school that could offer a boy more opportunities."