I've really enjoyed watching Gareth Malone's non-standard efforts to improve the speaking, reading and writing skills of some 11 year old boy pupils in an Essex primary school. See for yourself on BBC iPlayer. To achieve his aims he employs 'unbridled competition, risk and adventure,' in the belief and expectation that these will engage the boys' interest - as indeed they do. Two out of the three parts of this series have so far been screened, and the last will be shown on BBC2 from 9pm to 10pm this coming Thursday 23 September.
Surely the equally important arrows in his quiver are Gareth's own warmth and understanding, love and respect for the children in his care, tireless enthusiasm and general likeableness. - What child would not want to work to please that teacher? See Gareth Malone's Extraordinary School for Boys
But as with good teachers everywhere, seeking to gain the approval of the teacher by improving performance leads on to the children finding pleasure themselves in their own improved skills. It was a delight last Thursday to see the pride of the boys in being able to read with greater fluency and with pleasure, and to see and hear the pride and pleasure of the parents of the boys too, the fathers having helped a great deal by reading to and with the boys.
Also see Update.