Round Britain Quiz is something of a BBC Radio 4 institution. In the programme pairs of contestants are set fiendishly difficult questions which are rather like cryptic crossword clues; what links a grumpy detective with an explorer’s ship by way of an Indian car and a trip around the earth would be the sort of thing that leads to brain strain over the next few minutes. The pairs of contestants are then marked by the judges on the quality of the answer they give. Points are deducted for wrong answers or for clues having been given to help them on the way(1).
This week has been one in which many students have had to exercise a degree of patience. Disruptions to our normal routine caused by uncontrollable external factors have, once again, played a significant role in our week. For some, this has meant that they could not reach school. In an ideal world, students would use the many resources at their disposal to continue their reading, further their general understanding and develop their skills. Hard for many of our primary pupils but hopefully an approach to education that grows as students move through their school careers. Independent learning is one of those concepts that pops up in educational circles on a regular basis and a developed approach to it would no doubt have meant that this week was put to very good use. Perhaps next week it will be clear that those who could not come to school this week were able to use the materials that they had to hand and the near infinite resources to be found on the web to good effect. Teachers have loaded materials onto Frog our virtual learning environment and onto Showbie, it would be good to think that these materials have been well used. Those who have been in school have had a different experience and a positive one as a consequence of the adaptability of our teaching staff that will stay in the memory for a long time to come.
Being able to make the most of whatever situation is a useful attitude to develop in our students. A willingness to try to make the best of what is to hand. A spirit which is open to seeking the positive in every context and trying to learn from the challenges we face. An acceptance that motivation and decision making cannot be outsourced to social media but comes from within. I’d like to think that these capacities are developed, at least in part, before our students leave us for the next step in their educational journey. It is an approach to life-long learning and personal development that we believe is so important it forms one of our core school values.
The answer to the question; what links all of this? Endeavour.