Sorry about this, but what's gone before wasn't my last blog after all. Something else has occurred to me. which I think is worth saying. I made a flippant, throwaway remark about kids memorising fronted adverbials. That's a pretty inadequate thing to express what I believe to be the whole point of
a proper, though now it seems forgotten or ignored, principle of education. Ask a lot and you will get a lot, as long as what you ask for increases insight s which will help you through as well as extending knowledge which you'll probably forget. The present model of education has the inevitable end of leaving untapped vast quantities of talent and achievement for all children. I express this conviction with an example at the end of my author's note to Hawk's Vision, the very last words of the Hare trilogy.
Like most people, I suppose, my knowledge of falconry was derived from Kes by Barry Hines and TH White's The Goshawk. Needing more, I found a really super book, The History and Practice of Falconry by Allan Oswald (Neville Spearman 1982) and gave it to Eric to find out how to train a falcon and make a hood for it. I don't think the reading task I set him was any more daunting than the one Barry Hines gave Billy Casper. That both boys succeeded superbly simply underlines the central truths which I shall always hold about the measure and manner of children's achievements in reading and writing.
Now I really will shut up.