What is the purpose of education? As retirement approaches headteacher Jim Mepham is more convinced than ever that we want children who know things, can apply this knowledge, but who also understand themselves, others, and the world around them

As I approach the end of my years as a primary headteacher, I have been reflecting on what I have learnt about teaching and learning, pedagogy and the purpose of education.

I do this from a standpoint of having enjoyed immensely both the successes and the challenges of my career.

Over the years, I have seen many different initiatives introduced into primary education. These have included strategies to develop the curriculum, changing approaches to classroom pedagogy, changes to the classroom environment and behaviour, all of which have been rooted in research.

I am not disparaging about these changes, as they all have something to offer. However, sometimes changes or new approaches are held up as a “holy grail” and they are imposed on the profession with little discussion.

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