I have heard Richard Gerver’s key note speeches more than once, and I have to admit to being a fan. He uses his entertaining delivery and sharp wit to deliver a real challenge to anyone who will listen – how do we create an education system that is fit for purpose and that will equip our children to face the challenges the future holds for them? This book does exactly that. Read it.
Gerver talks a lot about how he, along with his staff, parents and pupils moved a school from special measures to outstanding in the eyes of Ofsted. His narrative includes many questions and challenges to really make the reader think about the approach they take in their own school which I found useful.
The main focus is really about how our schools are preparing children now for their future, one which we really can’t yet fully appreciate.
- Education has to change and change quickly
- Do we really realise the potential of our children
- How can we better ‘sell’ school to our children?
- Making mistakes, risk taking and challenge are all essential elements of quality school curriculum
- Knowledge vs Skills vs Rules
- The importance of creating real life contexts for learning through a thematic approach
- Community involvement is essential
- Creating three dimensional learning
- Developing the whole child
Is it based on proper research?
Yes. Although most of the book discusses what Gerver and his school community did at Grange Primary School, there are links with some pertinent research. There is a bibliography at the end of the book.
Some Quotes from “Tomorrow’s Schools”
‘If we want to develop a successful education system that truly exposes and develops the potential of every individual and prepares them to lead the challenges of the future, we must work to change the nature of one concept; failure and the notion of risk.’
In 2008 testing for 13 year olds was scrapped as it ‘stifled schools’ ability to develop meaningful learning experiences, develop creativity and most importantly, focus on the needs of individual children.’
‘Knowledge is only powerful to you if it is important to you and your context, otherwise it becomes nothing but trivia.’
‘Our children only get one chance; each precious day will never come again, so every day must be filled with opportunity and the joy of discovery.’
‘Politicians mist remember that education policy must not be designed to ensure the production of data – education is about the development of children.’
‘If we allow pupils a voice we must also act on their opinions, otherwise children quickly realise that their involvement is no more than superficial.’
‘Can we ensure that all learning environments are designed for and by the end users; our children?’
‘We need to define our children by their personalities, their skills, their competencies and value, not by the levels they achieved in their tests.’
‘Our job as educators is to ensure that our children fell that they are responsible for their learning and that it is they who have the power to control their own lives.’