Some people consider schooling to be the most important, memorable and enjoyable time of our lives; preparing and educating us for the future. The most obvious issue is why are people willing to pay thousands of pounds a year for education when fundamentally; state schools and private schools both serve the same purpose? Having experienced both state and private schooling, I feel I am well placed to comment on this issue.
Having spent twelve years of my life in state education, joining Worth School was, to say the least, very different; although throughout the entirety of my education I have always been surrounded by very catholic values. The catholic side to Worth School is without a doubt more prominent, and is almost comically atypical of society in general – how often do you see a monk walk past at your place of work?
My experience of the state system has allowed me to realise that state schools provide and cater for a wider variety of people who come from different cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds. Subsequently, I believe that during my years at state school, I was known by my teachers and fellow pupils for the person I was; there was absolutely no danger of inequality.
I’m pleased to say that since joining Worth School, this has not changed, and the people I have met are known for their distinct personality and charisma, which unfortunately cannot be said about all private schools. At Worth School, I feel there is more emphasis placed on the academic side of the school, but in the age of exams and competition this is to be expected, although Worth does still focus on the individual.
Having said this, the most striking difference that I have personally experienced between Worth School and my previous schools, is simply the Benedictine values that envelop school life. Whether these values are translated into the mutual relationship of trust between the pupils, staff, and monks, or the early morning ‘Thought for the day’ received from Father Steven. I believe that Worth has many aspects to it that state or private are unable to grant.
Essentially all schools offer an education, but as Oscar Wilde said “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing this is worth knowing can be taught”. Worth has allowed me to recognise that the school day is not just about lessons, it is also about seizing opportunities and taking advantage of the wider aspect that are provided.
This article was first published in Worth School’s Identity magazine.