Looking at curricula and extracurricular activities at London independent schools, what strikes me is their lack of originality in designing teaching and personal development. Being independent, they have a lot of freedom in terms of how they can teach kids and what to teach, but almost all follow a very narrow curriculum and an identical set of after-school clubs. A bit of French, a bit of ICT, some football for the boys, netball and swimming for the girls, and for most schools, that is it. As much as I am sure their offering is very good and fun for the kids, I do wonder why there is a 95% correlation between what private schools in London offer, when a large private sector should mean more choice for parents.
I’d love to see more schools who are creative in their approach and offer unusual activities. I love that Cameron House School, for examples, encourages their kids to do Karate and prepares even several girls each year for the black belt grading. Or Sarum Hall offering an after-school club in Strategy Games! This is where it gets interesting!
A while ago, I shared a TED talk by Sir Ken Livingstone about how schools kill creativity and prepare children only to be professors, when 99% won’t end up in academia. Today, I want to share another TED talk on education that I recommend every parent to watch: Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs! Serial entrepreneur Cameron Herold discusses how many kids who could be great entrepreneurs are discouraged and constrained by schools that follow only traditional methods and try to prepare children for life as hard working employees. Focusing on sitting still, following instructions and doing home work or preparing for tests all night might be a great preparation for life as an overworked employee, but it may not enable kids to reach their true potential and be happy and independent. Have a look and let me know what you think!