Time out

17th October 2003 at 01:00
Chris Biddle is an art teacher at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School

"Students are incredibly cotton-woolled and their idea of countryside is going into Marlow on a Saturday. In a place like this they have just got to muck in. You have to wash up, make the toast and look after each other. As you drive down away from London, the landscape changes as you move in and out of the valleys, and they get excited and get a real buzz. You get here down a track - it's just a wonderful place to be isolated. And when you're sitting in the woods and it's quiet and you're doing Haiku poetry, how many other times in their lives do they have the chance to do that? This weekend is augmenting their coursework. One of their units is called expressive study, where they are encouraged to find expression in all sorts of media, to experiment, explore and investigate.

Even though they moan on their mobile phones occasionally, I know at the end of the day it gets the job done. I know the kind of work they produce in these two days is equivalent to about three weeks in the studio."

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