This is good stuff, with one proviso: too often letting things get rough turns into bullying. I’d hate to see this guy’s school held up in a few months as being soft on bullies because they took this attitude too far.
But he makes some good points.
Ross Scrymgeour, head of private Hereworth School, Havelock North, says the banning of physical games like bullrush and murder-ball illustrates a “softly softly” approach to education that does not suit boys.
His boys-only school’s “play rough” philosophy made pupils more attentive in class and taught them about physical boundaries.
“Boys need to be exposed to this sort of thing,” Mr Scrymgeour said.
“I’m not talking about brawls, or fights, but physicality. Even the meekest and mildest, when put in a group of their own ability, will get something out of that.
One of the big issues that I have is the way that classes like woodwork now have to “write up” their work. What this has meant is that a subject that boys are always good at, and will find jobs in, has an add-on attached which happens to be a subject that girls are good at.
Can you imagine how many girls would pass English if they had to carve their thoughts into wood? Not many.
Worse, this isn’t even useful in the real world. As someone I once knew said “I’ve yet to meet a competent technical person who can spell”. Writing is not a skill employers require in physical workers – if it were they would never hire staff. All this ends up doing is failing boys at school, and the risks of failure in life that that creates.