Turning Passion into Achievement

17 September 2009 · 4 comments

in General Commentary, Interesting Issues & Hot Topics, International, Whole School

I’m on the mailing list of Puget Sound Community School. It has about 40 students on its roll and is a combined middle and high school based in Seattle. Along with 200 other people world-wide I’ve signed up to the online kindness class as an experiment. I also get various tidbits of information.

During this past week, the students, staff and volunteers have been organising their Friday sessions. This day is allocated to getting out and about exploring Seattle. To give you an idea, you can sign up for organic gardening, bouldering and Parkour. This has me wondering if this is the only school in the world where Parkour is taught.

What fascinates me is that this school has the philosophy of a Curriculum for Excellence. It lives and breathes the principles of students directing their own learning facilitated by adults who are passionate about what they teach. When I visited 18 months ago, I saw quality lesson after quality lesson. I met young people who truly valued the opportunity to learn. The teenagers attend a school that capitalizes on its community and local environment on a weekly basis, thus debunking the myth that timetabling restricts what a school can offer in terms of outdoor activities. The joy of freedom to live and learn in a community that truly values all who belong.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ali September 24, 2009 at 21:49

Hi Juliet In the year I was with Active Schools in East Lothian we looked seriously into offering Parkour as an afterschool activity. I jumped ship back to Fife so am not sure if it ever got up an running (great pun eh!)

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CreativeSTAR September 25, 2009 at 20:58

Thanks Ali

Once more Active Schools are being at the creative fore of activities being offered, putting the timetabled formal curriculum to shame once again. Have you seen the Edinburgh based Parkour YouTube video – an Extreme Game of Tag? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qhgIdP3l3I

Not as good as Danny MacAskill on his bike but always nice to see Scotland featured!

The guy who organises the PSCS Parkour class is a former student. He’s been into Parkour for a number of years and basically got the whole school enthused!

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Mr T September 25, 2009 at 21:00

I did some Parkour last night, at climbing club with pupils, shhhhh don’t tell anyone as I did not put it on the Risk Assesment form !

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CreativeSTAR September 25, 2009 at 21:09

Dear Mr T

Psst! I bet the benefits outweighed the risks which you assessed dynamically as they all bound about! I always forget about nasal hygiene in my risk assessments…one wrong sniff and I’m doomed as I’m usually without a hanky in my pocket.

Very tongue-in-cheekily yours,
Juliet

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