Taking it Slower at Caldicott

21 April 2018

 

To start the Summer Term, Caldicott observed a Slow Day.  All boys and staff took time out to be a little more mindful of how they went about their daily movements.  Bells were silenced, lunch was longer and the courtyard was transformed into a calm zone with benches and beanbags for quiet reflection and discussion.

We live busy lives and Caldicott is no exception with boys taking part in many activities alongside their academic studies.  Sport, drama, music, trips to museums and theatres, plus just general living can all lead to a fast pace life, even for children.  Rushing through the day can have negative impacts on the way we act and how productive we are.  Being mindful of what we are doing, even when we are busy, can help us become successful in the things we do.  The Slow Day restored this balance between rushing and thinking.

The Slow Day was inspired by the work of political activist, Carlo Petrini, and his “slow movement” that began in 1986.  He protested against the opening of a new McDonald’s in Piazza di Spagna in Rome and began the slow food movement in response to fast food.  Over time, his philosophy developed and lead to Carl Honoré’s 2004 book “In Praise of Slow”.

During the slow day, the boys took time to be more mindful about the tasks and conversations they were having and focused on the work done in their lessons as being valuable and not just a means to an end. At lunch, locally sourced food was served and boys were encouraged to find out where the food they were eating came from and to discuss this with their peers at the table. In order to create some regular still moments throughout the day, boys and staff participated in "60 seconds of silence" either at the start, end or in the middle of each lesson.  There were also no bells sounded throughout the day, which reduced the sense of urgency in proceeding to the next task.

The response from boys and staff was very positive and something the school will continue to practice throughout the year.

 

Caldicott Slow Day