There is a misconception, within the teaching profession and the general public, that Ofsted, the Health and Safety Executive and the establishment are against children being exposed to danger and that schools are prevented from giving children experiences which involve risk. Mike Fairclough, headmaster at West Rise Junior School, has blown that theory out of the water.
In the superb Playing with Fire, Mike urges all schools to follow his lead, empowering other headmasters and their schools to provide activities for their pupils which include an element of risk and danger. With entertaining and visual examples of his work at West Rise, including bee keeping, water buffalo breeding, shooting, archery, Forest School, paddle boarding, and skinning rabbits, Mike breezily demonstrates how teething problems and mistakes are part and parcel of risk-taking and should be embraced.
The result is an empowering book that urges educators to cultivate their own resilience, courage and trust in the same way that we are hoping to foster those qualities within our students.
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