When I was at school, I was often told by my parents and other relatives that your school years will be the best years of your life.
I do indeed have fond memories of primary school, even the not so pleasant moments bring back a few smiles.
The best part of primary school for me and probably most of us was that it was fun, I remember digging up rocks when we had an archaeologist visit, exploring the playground looking for wild butterflies and painting art pieces with my fingers.
Will the next generation remember school as fondly?
Headteacher Colin Harris stated recently that Too many schools – due to the constraints of results, their local authority or their multiple-academy trust, or due to fear of Ofsted – have become boring and soulless establishments offering little fun and even less risk.
This might have forced schools into a more of an academic teaching route with less emphasis on play and creativity.
Would any of the activities I mentioned earlier be allowed in a modern day school?
It could be argued that children who don’t get ample play time during their school hours can limit their imagination or a way to express themselves and develop social and communication skills.
What is more, we constantly see in the news today that kids are spending their time in the evening playing on their games consoles or on electronic devices instead of using their imagination to build forts or invent new games.
The big knock on effect for this is that students leaving school may well be well-versed in academic knowledge but could be going into the world of work without any soft skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork and responsibility.
Soft skills are becoming increasingly important in most organisations as they are needed to help people to communicate and collaborate effectively together in the working environment.
This could be addressed by implementing soft skills into the school curriculum like Australia, but can soft skills be taught? Would it be better if we let kids at primary school learn these skills by letting them be kids and have fun!
More fun and engaging lessons could be especially beneficial if it helps better prepare students for the world of work.