New-age school bans exams, rules, rewards
London - A school in Lancashire in London is changing the rules of the classroom and the move has offended several education experts in England.
Barrowford Primary School has done away with punishing pupils, shouting at them or suspending or expelling them. Teachers have also received a new code of conduct for the classroom that veers from the traditional role in schools across the world.
According to the Daily Mail newspaper, Barrowford Primary School has made the change to more suitably provide for growing children by focusing on their emotional maturity.
The school reportedly refuses to "judge" pupils and has instead, enforced a policy of talking about feelings when strife arises. Even teachers have been banned from raising their voices in the classroom as an act of discipline.
The school currently has 355 students and part of its curriculum includes emotional literacy classes. The DM reported that during these lessons, the pupils learn "that there are no ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ emotions, just feelings to be acknowledged and understood." Even teachers are trained in emotional intelligence and have been instructed to respond to conflict with words that describe the impact the conflict has on his or her emotional wellbeing.
For seven years, pupils between the ages of four and 11 have schooled at Barrowford without threat of punishment. The DM reported that phrases such as "you have emptied my resilience bucket" have been suggested to pupils as a means of communicating hurt or angry feelings to others. This, as an alternative to expressing feelings through angry outburts.
The principal of the school, Mrs. Rachel Tomlinson acknowledged that the anti-punishment model of running a school seemed out of ordinary. She told the DM that the method would prove to be good for the pupils as they develop into teens and adults.
She was quoted as saying: "We don’t label children naughty at all. It’s important that they see themselves as intrinsically good and [that they] build up a positive sense of self."
Barrowford Primary School has also done away with earning sporting points, academic stickers and certificates and rewards. The idea behind the move is to treat all pupils as special and unique and not to create divisions between those who perform well at those who are perceived as average or underperforming.
Mrs Tomlinson told the media that despite criticism over her technique in running the school, Barrowford will continue to create a comfortable environment for pupils. This includes teaching them to reach consensus on what time a lunch break should be taken.
The DM quoted one education expert as criticisng Mrs. Tomlinson for having good intentions but being misguided on how to groom the children entrusted to her school. The expert said incidents of bullying at the school showed that the approach did not work.
Newsful was unable to find statistics on how effective Barrowford Primary School has been in using this model of education in the school.
To learn more about Barrowford Primary School watch the video below.