Pioneering Pedagogy

By 1948 there were 184 children at the school. By now, Margaret said “The staff had worked together for many years and there was a contented openness about the place. Classroom doors were always open, parents were regular and welcome visitors,” in contrast with the orthodox approach which kept parents at arms’ length. Margaret said “Skills were always important at Preshil. Above all, children want to be seen as being ‘normal’, like the kid next door. They also have enquiring minds and are challenged and stimulated by knowledge and ideas until adults either organize them out of these attitudes, or frighten them in some way into a need to conform.”

“Teachers were available to advise, help, show how, work with or stimulate, with children of all ages moving freely through the school. No bells rang to begin, and the end could be cloudy and gradual or when people were tired and needed a break.”  Through the 40s, 50s and 60s, Preshil continued to grow in both size and significance.