Kids 'should take risks'

Children are left with little time to develop life skills and enjoy their childhood, a leading headmaster has warned.

Headmaster: Children should climb trees and play poker

In his speech to the BSA's annual conference in Brighton, later today, leading headmaster Christian Heinrich will say that long school hours offer a "wider co-curriculum alongside the extended core of academic subjects".

He will add that children should be given a greater chance to develop the qualities that "hold together society". He will say:

The qualities that suggest there is more to society than just the individual and family. Children and young adults learn about sharing and borrowing, about others' feelings, concerns and priorities, about self-control and perseverance and, perhaps most importantly, about curiosity, in an environment in which it is possible and much encouraged to learn safely from your mistakes rather than to repeat them.

So I exhort children at my school: 'Climb trees! Cook your own lunch! Drive a go-kart around the car-park (cordoned off!). Even play poker!'. There's more to school than classrooms and exams. Make mistakes whilst the consequences can be managed and the lessons learned.

Headmaster warns children need to take more risks

Children are left with little time to develop life skills and enjoy their childhood, a leading headmaster has warned.

Christian Heinrich, chairman of the Boarding Schools' Association (BSA) said the twin pressures of exams and health and safety mean that today's youngsters have less time to play and are not encouraged to take risks.

Leading headmaster warns children need to take more risks Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive

Mr Heinrich accused private senior schools of being more interested in a child's intelligence than their other abilities, and attacked the tests used by many of these schools to decide which pupils to admit.

He also warned that children needed to be allowed to play and take part in activities that are not examined.

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