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Leadership Likes: Mrs Bradshaw

Curiosity killed the cat!

Warning: this, like many things your grandmother told you, might not be 100% true.

Carrots whilst being a great source of beta-carotene which is good for your eyes, will not make you see in the dark. And eating your crusts is not scientifically proven to make your hair curly. I feel lied to.

Of course, what my Grandmother meant, is it is not nice to be nosey or gossip about people. But curiosity is essential to learning. So at Croydon High, we are really quite keen on it.

This week Year 7 had their first lessons. For most of them their first experience of a full timetable of specialist teachers. Some subjects were totally new, Enterprise Technology or 3D design for example, and some were similar but different to the junior school version they had previously encountered. I teach one of these subjects, REP. The Religious Education or Religious Studies of Year 3-6 evolves in Year 7 to Religion, Ethics and Philosophy. In an effort to sow the seed of understanding that this subject is all about evaluating different sides of an academic argument, we headed outside. It was fortunate timing as we spent most of the week complaining about the heat in the way we were complaining about the cold the week before.

Their task was to find something in our lovely grounds which they considered to be ‘nature’. They then described their daisy, feather or in one case caterpillar without using it’s name. I wanted them to see their natural object as though for the first time. The slightly furry stem, the vein pattern on the leaf or the two different textures on the feather. Then came the hard bit. How did it get there? And of course that was the point of the lesson. There was not only one answer. How would the explanation of a theist differ from an atheist?

So curiosity may have killed a cat, a long time ago. But curiosity is at the core of everything we do. And what have Year 7 been curious about in their very first week?

In REP—Was this daisy created by God or did it evolve?

In Physics—Which food contains the most energy?

In Dips and Debate—Why did we only use one airport to evacuate from Afghanistan?

In History—Why did women over 30 get the vote before others?

In English—What makes a story a story?

And in Induction – Why is it called J corridor?

And to that last one – none of us know!


Mrs Sophie Bradshaw

Deputy Head (Sixth Form and Operations)

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