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The art of conker warfare hangs by a thread

Gathering nuts in a damp wood and then whacking them together can’t compete with a PlayStation Vita

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Today I am a battlefield commander, pacing the classroom in anticipation of giving the order to go over the top. But first I must brief my platoon on the dangers that lie ahead. “Right, kids, switch off those tablet computers and listen carefully. There will be no more virtual learning on my watch. The time has come for you to interface with the real world. To risk life, limb and eyesight in the pursuit of a practical education.”

Today’s learning will be up close and personal. Armed only with raw courage and a modicum of protective clothing, they will do battle with autumn’s weapons of ...

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