Taming the jungle

27th October 2000 at 01:00
IT seems to me that we go to great lengths to promote social harmony through personal and social education lessons and positive behaviour and anti-bullying policies but fail to provide an environment in which attitudes of toleration and co-operation can be explored and practised.

The environment of the normal class is controlled by the teacher who does her best to quell anti-social behaviour. The environment of the corridors, staircases, playgrounds and streets is more or less uncontrolled, with behaviour ruled by the laws of the jungle. There is almost no provision of leisure activities and community work carried out in social accommodation ad managed by the pupils themselves under the guidance of a member of staff.

May I make three suggestions? One, the projected fall in school population (alas not in Edinburgh) (TESS, October 20) presents an opportunity to turn spare classrooms into common rooms. Two, the practice of paying staff for extra-curricular activities sets a precedent for paying teaching staff to oversee pupil-managed clubs and societies devoted to leisure and community service. Three, that sort of environment, halfway between class and jungle, would allow pupils to explore and practise what we want them to learn.

David Hill

Relugas Road, Edinburgh

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today