Stretch those elastic bands!

Breadth of opportunity at Prep School

Having been back in the classroom again after a few years of not being a full time teacher, it has made me reflect on the teaching of children and why the prep school experience is such a fantastic environment for children to grow up in.

A long time ago I went to a talk where a visiting speaker described a child’s brain as containing a series of elastic bands. If each elastic band represents different skills and experiences then some of those elastic bands will be more stretched than others. For example, if a child is good at maths or reading then those particular bands will be stretched more than say the bands representing writing or sport. When a child is good at something, the temptation, as a teacher or a parent, is to keep stretching that particular elastic band by giving more exposure to that skill. Whilst it’s important to do that, the down side is that the other bands will be left unstretched or not used at all.

The beauty of a prep school, particularly as the children get older, is that they have a number of opportunities to try different subjects and to take part in different activities where they are being challenged and more importantly are learning resilience and managing their mistakes. The trick as a teacher is to make sure that a child’s strengths are maintained but that other experiences and subjects are given as much time to enable your child to have as many of those bands stretched as possible. Hopefully, by the time they are ready to leave Cargilfield, a good many of those elastic bands will have been stretched. In the process, many children will discover that they have a strength that they never knew existed!

Sarah Taylor

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Cargilfield where everyday is an adventure

Welcome to Cargilfield! We hope this short film gives you a glimpse of what life is like for the girls and boys at our school. We would love to welcome you in person to tour Cargilfield and explain more fully exactly what makes a Cargilfield education so special and so different. Please get in touch with Fiona Craig, our Registrar if you would like to find out more; her email address is [email protected] or you can telephone her on 0131 336 2207.

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