Clore Leadership Programme
Clore Leadership Programme

If Only School Was Like This

Clore 12 Fellow Nasheed Qamar Faruqi reflects on the first week of her Clore Fellowship residential. 

The Clore 12 Fellows practicing their 'jazz hands' pose in front of the big barn at Bore Place.

It is six days since we first came together at Bore Place. Several of us stand outside the main house in front of the new door. (The old door is around the corner on the side of the house, a vast, knotty oak made door. How many generations have walked through that door?)

We talk; we laugh; we interrogate; we share our plans for the year ahead. I can hear someone worry about office time management in the hallway.

In the kitchen, a small group doggedly cooks breakfast, although the bacon is slow to cook and Michelle can't believe it could be so fatty.

We have become soft and comfortable, like a well-worn favourite shoe. We are beginning to know one and other.

If only school could have been like this. If only all groups could be held like this: with respect and compassion, as well as challenge.

Today, after an intensive week of self-reflection, storytelling and learning, we will go to Charleston, that home of collaboration and creativity which so colourfully shed its own light on the world beyond its hedgerows.

It is fitting that we should be going to Charleston together from the idyll of Commonwork. Commonwork is a laboratory of sustainable and ethical farming.

Both Commonwork and Charleston have collaboration in their DNA. Each place emerges out of a creative and ethical engagement with work and resources. We are being taught by these places and by being together, as much as from the speakers and workshops we have had the privilege to experience this week.

We are the Clore 12 Fellows, half way through our first residential course.


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