Much has been made of the increasing amount of time children are spending in front of screens. Screen time is no longer just at home, with many schools introducing the use of technology in subjects other than ICT. It is often argued as to whether this is healthy for a child – does content that children have access to on TV’s/tablet’s/PC’s have a negative impact on their childhood? And does the use of devices enhance or take away from education? The London Acorn School, based in south west London and similar to that of the Acorn School in Gloucester, believe that the use of the previously mentioned tech platforms throughout primary and secondary education is actually detrimental to a child’s education. Although the school does introduce some screen and internet use into their curriculum (only when a child reaches a certain age) their main ethos is that a ‘no-tech’ school is a better school. The London Acorn School, which opened in 2013 with an annual fee of £11,000, has banned their pupils from using smartphones, computers/tablets, and TVs, not only in school time but at home too. Therefore, for parents to send their children to this school they too have to fully commit to the no tech rule at home. The school teaches children from the ages of 3-18, following a unique, stripped-back curriculum that focuses on both academic and art based subjects. The school’s website claims that their main aim is to “educate our children so that they might become naturally confident, free thinkers grounded by the solid foundation of a thorough, well-rounded curriculum”. Although the school like to have a no-tech rule (both at school and home) for all of their pupils, they do gradually allow the incorporation of various technologies at particular ages. These include:
  • television documentaries are allowed after a child has reached the age of 12, however these are only allowed if they have been “vetted” by parents
  • only from the age of 14 can children start watching films
  • the internet is banned for everyone below the age of 16
  • computers are only used as part of the curriculum for over-14s
Parents of pupils are in favour of the school’s ethos as they feel that the ‘no-tech’ rule relieves children from social pressures that various technologies create when certain platforms are accessed, as well as enabling them to build a wider skillset that may not otherwise be realised. However, others have argued that children who miss out on using tech are being deprived of skills that are vital in this tech driven world. To find out more about the school visit on their website here… Read another related article here…