By Freya Hannan-Mills, Block 4
The Putney School is extraordinary. At every moment someone or something is happening which is completely unique to both the school and its environment.
At Putney, the academic subjects are not taught in isolation, instead they are a brew of different curriculum areas all blending together into one class. For example, I am taking the ‘Humans in the Natural World’ class and we are studying the Colombian exchange and how stories are created. The class is an intriguing mix of geography, history and English and uses the students’ knowledge and skills in all those areas.
Apart from the classes we are also taking on activities and jobs. The activities vary from tai chi to digital photography, ultimate Frisbee, hiking and many more. You get the sense that nothing at Putney is done half-heartedly and this certainly goes for the jobs. So far, everyone’s jobs have been in the barn – some at 5am in the morning, and others at 4.40pm.
The barn is an experience! My personal practical knowledge about shovelling cow manure is very limited to say the least, but in an odd way the students here have an infectious enthusiasm towards doing it. Their commitment and energy makes it enjoyable and the milk and cheese they make is amazing.
The campus is picture postcard gorgeous,though I seem to be continually getting lost – mainly as I have no sense of direction. However, wherever I end up it’s always crazy beautiful.
Unlike Bedales, here the dorms are split into a number of smaller buildings. I’m staying in a picturesque building which almost feels Hobbit like, partly because the view outside is of wild Nature but also because it has a huge tree growing right thought the centre of it.
Jake is staying in one of the cabins in the woods – being there makes you want to give up on the 21st century and just move in.
Apart from the classes and the setting, what really embodies Putney, is the people. Everyone here is so bubbly, welcoming and always there to lend a hand and help us when we get desperately lost!