Visions of a daily shot of learning

21st January 2005 at 00:00
Whiteboards that let you "see into the past". Laptops instead of books.

School buses with windmills on top of them, to cut down on pollution.

Welcome to the schools of the future.

That, at least, is the vision set out by primary pupils, who got together to consider what education might be like if they could have their way.

Year 5 youngsters from six Cheshire primaries left their teachers marvelling at the breadth of their imaginations. Staff even quipped that one youngster might be a member of the national remodelling team, the group that suggested Women's Institute members take design and technology lessons and caretakers supervise football.

This pupil suggested that there could be: "Robots to teach you different things when the teachers are busy. They could (also) be used for dinner ladies and playground duties."

For another, lessons would be an irrelevance, as children would have "one injection of knowledge a day".

The event had its serious side, however. Organised by Eaton Bank secondary, a maths and computing college in Congleton, it was designed to give primary and secondary pupils a say in discussing how learning might one day be organised.

Year 12 students from Eaton Bank were more sober, coming up with more realistic suggestions such as schools offering lessons in driving theory, financial management and electrical DIY skills.

The sixth-formers were also sceptical about the potential downsides of schools focusing too much on the use of computer technology, which some said could be a distraction from good teaching.

The primary pupils, however, had more fundamental concerns. While one suggested youngsters could attend evening classes in addition to their normal lessons, another voiced an all-too-familiar wish.

In the future, the child proclaimed, there will be no school.

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