The Revd Canon Ann Easter on children needing both a decent education and life lessons in kindness and courage


- Credit: Archant

I went to George Green’s Grammar School when it was on the East India Dock Road; engraved above the main door was a text from the book of Job in the Bible – ‘The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.”

George Green’s was a good school – still is, I believe, though with a rather better view over the Thames now! – and we learnt a great deal there, in spite of the lack of a playground and the one area which had to be assembly hall, dinner hall, gym and library, occasionally all at once!

Most of us achieved credible exam results but I believe that we also learnt wisdom, not as part of the main curriculum, but in other, subtler, ways.

Because it was a small school, we mixed with students in years above and below us and ambitious plays and operas were regularly staged, involving everyone who wanted to join in. We learnt about working together, performance and commitment.

The Goodwill Scheme, our charitable initiative, ran all year round and everyone was expected to contribute not just odd bits of pocket money but imaginative ideas for fundraising.

Nowadays, schools are incredible places with amazing facilities and young people do more than learn the three ‘R’s’ but being fully human takes more than that. We all need to learn kindness, generosity of spirit, courage and the ability to reflect – and how to go on learning too.