In 2014 I wrote an article about taking children out of school for festivals, as due to a change in the law, authorised absences can no longer be given by schools. Of course as editor of this website I continue to maintain that music festivals are educational places for children and that it is worth taking them out of school, although I believe this should be done with the permission of the school. Growing up at festivals my children have participated in many workshops – in art, fabrics and weaving, woodworking, stone carving, pottery, cooking, science, drama, nature and forest skills, dj-ing, music, dance and much more. They have gained confidence in themselves and social skills in making friends and have learned to express themselves freely. Festivals are an amazing learning opportunity for our children, they encourage learning through play which has been proven many times as the best way for young children to learn.
The wonderful people at Bearded Theory have taken this a step forward and have opened their own OFSTED registered school on the Friday they will be absent. They have designed a proper guided curriculum with core topics of Maths, English, History and Science. The day will be themed around the Rio Olympics this summer and will include additional topic based material such as the Portuguese language, carnival costume making, samba drumming and even Brazilian sweet making!
I know that my children are going to be upset that school can’t be like this every day!
How Does the Festival School Work?
Once you have bought your Bearded Theory ticket, you can enrol your children on their website. You will also need to write to the head teacher of your school to ask for permission to take your children out on that day. Bearded Theory will then send details of the curriculum and the school directly to your Head teacher.
Of course, it is down to your school as to whether they will grant permission, but last year they had 177 enrolments, and only 2 head teachers did not authorise as Education off site.
Parents are asked to drop off their children at 9.30am (when there’ll be a morning exercise session with Mr Motivator for parents too – see you there!) and pick them up at 12pm for lunch, back into the school at 1pm and then back to pick them up at 3.30pm. So, dare I believe I’m going to have nearly an entire day child free at a festival…? Time for some guilt-free lounging about I think!
My children are all enrolled this year, so watch this space for more on this. Let’s hope more festivals follow their example!
Please see the Bearded Theory website for more details here:
Note: The school is free but you will need to have bought your festival tickets before you can enrol!