When the American born wife of local MP, Steven Goodhew, visited Whitefield Primary School yesterday as part of her husband’s electioneering campaign, she got more than she bargained for.
“Oh my God” she exclaimed as she entered the reception class and saw the children at play, “aren’t they adorable! All busy doing nothing!”
Class teacher, Miss Susan Ford, quickly jumped on the defensive. “The activities the children are engaged in, all have strong educational purposes.” she retorted. Pointing to the table nearest to where they were standing she said, “For example, these tasks, bead threading, lacing cards, cutting out, all help to develop eye and hand co-ordination.” She then indicated another group working with a nursery assistant. “The children here are playing matching games, memory training games and jigsaws, crucial in developing skills necessary for reading.” The entourage moved on to a purpose built tiled area. Miss Ford continued “ Activities such as water and sand play, painting, clay and plasticine are excellent learning mediums, especially in encouraging mathematical concepts. We are very careful to provide appropriate language facilitation alongside the many different tasks the children are engaged in. Much thought goes into all the activities provided in order to enhance maximum educational progress. Although it may look as if the children are playing, I can assure you they are actually learning a lot from their play.”
“Wow! I stand corrected” exclaimed Mrs.Goodhew, sweeping her arm to encompass the whole classroom, “In such a bright, colourful and may I say, inspiring environment such as this and with such underlying educational guidance, it is no wonder the school was rated outstanding in the recent HM inspection.”
Miss Ford, somewhat appeased, smiled. In the meantime, Arlene Goodhew, had enhanced her own learning skills, in diplomacy!