King Alfred School, Plön 1948-1959.
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What was the Spirit of this unusual School?
The first Headmaster Freddie Spencer-Chappman made this report on the progress of the school in his last year, 1952. He concluded as follows:-
"Before I conclude, I must turn aside to try to define this Spirit of King Alfred School and to say what relationship it bears to what we set out to create more than four years ago. You will all appreciate I am sure, The scope of the wonderful experiment that has gone on here. To be given an opportunity of providing not only for one priviledged class, but for a complete cross-section of the community, all the facilities of the traditional Public School at home- and more, for what school at home, for which the parents pay considerable sums per year, has such buildings and grounds as these, such facilities for athletics, sailing, and riding, and such an opportunity to study another great race and language at first hand. The more a school resembles society in miniature the more valuable it is as a training for adult life:
The Public Schools at home have a long and splendid tradition, but they have one nationality, one sex, one religion, and in general one income group. Here we have twenty nationalities, half a dozen religions, and boys and girls of every sort of home and background and every kind of aptitude and ability. . As His Majesty's Inspectors said in their summary to the staff last week, here we have endeavoured to put first things first. Everything cannot be achieved in four years, but they considered that we have already produced here a living community where children of all kinds can move with disciplined self-confidence, are treated as individuals, and are given every opportunity to make the most of whatever talents God has given them.
If I may quote from the report of the Advisory Council of Education in Scotland – surely a canny body if ever there was one - - "The good secondary school is to be assessed not by the tale of examination successes, however impressive, but by the extent to which it has filled the years of youth with security, graciousness, and ordered freedom and has thus become a seed-bed for the flowering in due course of all that is of good report". And now, having laid our foundations well and firmly, we must continue to build with courage and imagination.
We must see that our standards of work are as high as they can possibly be, and that our courses of study for the non-academic forms are not just the grammar school syllabus watered down, but provide opportunities for even the most ungifted child to make the best of him or herself. Do not forget it is not brilliance and cleverness that get you to the top in the world, but reliability, steadiness, goodness, kindliness, all that we call character. And these qualities are within the reach of every one of you."
Saturday, January 7th, 2017 in Bloomsbury London
For recent and forthcoming mini re-unions and,
For the next annual re-union details, see the discussion area
A 'pilgrimage' to visit Plön was held in May 2008.
from time to time; join the discussions for more details.
of the re-unions for many decades,
died of natural causes on 9th Nov 2006