When I was 12, I designed a school that was in the Howgill Fells in Cumbria. It was on a farm. I drew maps, designed the uniform, set the curriculum (which involved a lot of outdoor and agricultural education!) and wrote out all the timetables. The design process occupied a lot of my imaginings and I wish to this day I’d kept the exercise book I wrote everything down in.
In a moment of confusion, during my first year at University, I stopped to ask God what part I had to play here in North Wales and what He required of me. He quietened my confusion by reminding me of the school I had designed, which considering I had chosen to do a music degree with the intention of following with a PGCE in Primary teaching didn’t seem too alien an idea. But the journey from there on wasn’t quite as I had envisaged. When I completed my degree and applied to do a PGCE the door kept shutting in my face and I believed God was asking me to go about things in a different way. I have only recently found myself speaking of this to friends, and was forcibly struck by what Josiah wrote the other day as part of his school work. As part of his work he was asked to write about his school and this what he wrote:
“My school is on a farm. Well, kind of! It is a small holding with dogs, a cat, goats, chickens, horses, rabbits and sometimes pigs. We start school at 8.30am. We do our PACES till 10.00am and have an half hour break. Then we work till 11.30am and have a 20 minute music practise. Then we do more school work till 12.50pm and have a lunch break. After lunch, we do a project or horse riding etc. I enjoy it a lot.”