Christian Heinrich, Chairman of Boarding Schools’ Association, gained a lot of negative publicity in the UK media after he linked children to poker in his recent speech to the Association's conference in Brighton this week.
Even though it was obvious that his intention was to accentuate the two-fold pressures of exams and health and safety on modern day’s youngsters who are left with almost no time to spontaneously develop life skills and enjoy their childhood, the part of the speech containing the “notorious” word poker came under the negative spotlight.
“Those long hours in our schools offer a wider co-curriculum alongside the extended core of academic subjects, certainly, but also a greater chance to develop the qualities that we would all wish our children to have in spades: the very qualities that hold together society," Heinrich said.
"The qualities that suggest there is more to society than just the individual and family. Children and young adults learn about sharing and borrowing, about others’ feelings, concerns and priorities, about self-control and perseverance and, perhaps most importantly, about curiosity, in an environment in which it is possible and much encouraged to learn safely from your mistakes rather than to repeat them."
“So I exhort children at my school: ‘Climb trees! Cook your own lunch! Drive a go-kart around the car-park (cordoned off!). Even play poker!’. There’s more to school than classrooms and exams,” Heinrich concluded and got himself under the public scrutiny.